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3 3433 082514642 




Q/vt^ux/L-t^ou^ ^Wc^-i-^sto 





and his 


of the 



sBiina Urtjiur 

anti His 3K.nCgtit0 



^ / \ 

Instructor in English in the 
University of Chicago 

Illustrated by 

Educational Publishers 




.. loK. LliiNOX AND 


K 1945 L 

Copyrights 1905, 


THIS reading-book is designed primarily for 
pupils of the fifth and sixth grades, 
although it is believed that those of other 
grades can read it with profit. The stories have 
been collected from Sir Thomas Malory's Morte 
<r Arthur and Tennyson's Idyls of the King. The 
material taken from the former source has been 
chosen with the view of presenting strictly suit- 
able reading, and has also at 'times been slightly 
altered for the purpose of giving greater unity 
and continuity to the stories. In the tales taken 
from the Idyls of the King it has been necessary 
to omit certain themes and motives, but the char- 
acters have been treated in such a way as to pre- 
serve, as far as possible, Tennyson's conception 
of them. It is scarcely necessary to state that 
the customs and manners described are not those 
of the sixth century, the time of the Anglo-Saxon 
invasion, but those of the chivalric age, the period 
when the stories of Arthur were collected. So far 



Mm ^vtlauv 

as there has been an attempt to retain the quaint- 
ness of style found in the old sources, it has been 
by means of simple constructions rather than by 
the use of much archie diction. The aim of the 
book is to give children an interest in the litera- 
ture dealing with the great Celtic legend of King 
Arthur, and to arouse their admiration for the 
sturdy national virtues of which the English race 
has always been proud. 

anp I^i0 ^nJQfyt^ ^ 



Preface 5 

A List of Illustrations . . 8 

How Arthur Became King 11 

The Good Sword Excalibur 29 

The Great Feast and What Followed . . .35 
Arthur's Court and the Order of the Round Table 49 

King Arthur and the Princess Guinevere ... 64 

The Coming of Gareth 73 

The Story of Sir Gareth and Lynette .... 85 

Sir Ivaine - ... 99 

Sir Balin 120 

Sir Geraint and Enid 131 

Arthur and Sir Accalon 142 

How Arthur Fought with a Giant 153 

How Arthur Fought with Rome 160 

The Knight with the Badly Made Coat . . . .171 

Sir Lancelot and Sir Brune 177 

The Adventure of King Pellenore 193 

Sir Lancelot and His Friends 199 

How Sir Lancelot Saved the Queen 213 

Sir Lancelot and Elaine 226 

The Search for the Holy Grail 243 

The Death of Arthur 260 

A Pronouncing Index 269 

Suggestions to Teachers 270 



Mn^ artl^ttr 


AUSl 0F nxu^rMTiON^sl 


JCtn^ Arthur and his Knights of the Round 

Table Frontispiece 

^^All about him old oaks stood like giant guardians " . lo 

*^ He hardly more than touched the sword ^ 25 

Arthur and the Lady of the Lake 31 

King Bors and King Ban 41 

^^ Arthur saw Guinevere bending over the walV^ . . 65 

*'Gareth rode at him fiercely'' 93 

^'He dismounted and poured water into the fountain " . 105 

*^^ They fought till their breath failed'' 129 

'^King Arthur raising his hand for silence " . . 167 

** The king touched him lightly with his sword" . . . 175 

^^ He pushed him until he was but a step from the edge" 191 

^^ He struck so fiercely the bottom fell out" 209 

^^She staid near it all day long in the turret " . . . . 231 

''^ And across it slowly moved the Holy Grail" ... 253 


aim W^ ImiQfyt^ i 



^ Mm^vtijuv 

about him 

old oaks 

stood like 



atiD W» fenffil^tg B^ 


ONCE upon a time, a thousand years 
before Columbus discovered Amer- 
ica, and when Rome was still the greatest 
city in the world, there lived a brave and 
beautiful youth whose name was Arthur. 
His home was in England, near London; 
and he lived with the good knight Sir 
Hector, whom he always called father. 

They dwelt in a great square castle of 
gray stone, with a round tower at each 
corner. It was built about a courtyard, 
and was surrounded by a moat, across 
which was a drawbridge that could be 
raised or lowered. When it was raised 
the castle was practically a little island 
and very hard for eriejniea^to Attack. 


12 ^ Mm ^tti9uv 

A^hur ^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ moat was a large 
Became wood, and here Arthur spent a great deal 
^^^ of his time. He liked to lie under the 
trees and gaze up at the blue of the sky. 
All about him old oaks stood like giant 
guardians watching sturdily over the soil 
where they had grown for centuries. 
Arthur could look between the trunks 
and see rabbits and squirrels whisking 
about. Sometimes a herd of brown deer 
with shy dark eyes would pass, holding 
their graceful heads high in the air; some- 
times a flock of pheasants with brilliant 
plumage rose from the bushes. Again 
there was no sound except the tapping 
of a bright-crested woodpecker, and no 
motion but the fluttering of leaves and 
the trembling of violets half buried in 
green moss. 

At times, when it was dim and silent 
in the wood, Arthur would hear bursts of 
merry laughter, the tinkling of bells, and 
the jingling of spurs. Then he would 
know that knights and ladies were rid- 
ing down the road which ran beside the 
trees. Soon the knights would appear on 
horsesj brbtvn,''tilacl£;and white, with gaily 

ornamented saddles, and bridles from ^^^^ 
which hung silver bells. Often the sad- Became 
dies were made of ivory or ebony, set with ^^^ 
rubies or emeralds. The knights wore 
helmets laced with slender gold chains, 
and coats of mail made of tiny links of 
steel, so fine and light that all together 
hardly weighed more than a coat of cloth. 
Usually the legs of the knights were 
sheathed in steel armor; and their spurs 
were steel, or even gold. The ladies sat on 
horses with long trappings of silk, purple, 
white, or scarlet, with ornamented saddles 
and swinging bells. The robes of the ladies 
were very beautiful, being made of velvet 
or silk trimmed with ermine. Arthur 
liked to watch them, flashing by; crim- 
son, and gold, and blue, and rose-colored. 
Better still, he liked to see the pretty 
happy faces of the ladies, and hear their 
gay voices. In those troublous times, 
however, the roads were so insecure that 
such companies did not often pass. 

Sometimes the knights and ladies came 
to visit Sir Hector. Then Arthur would 
hurry from the forest to the castle. 
Sir Hector would stand on the lowered 

14 ^ Mn^ artl^ttt; 

Arf^^r drawbridge to greet his guests, and would 
Became lead them, with many expressions of pleas- 
•^"^ ure, into the courtyard. Then he would 
take a huge hammer hanging from a post, 
and beat with it on a table which stood in 
a corner of the courtyard. Immediately 
from all parts of the castle the squires 
and servants would come running to take 
the horses of the knights and ladies. Sir 
Hector's wife and daughters would then 
appear, and with their own hands remove 
the armor of the knights. They would 
offer them golden basins of water, and 
towels for washing, and o-fter that put 
velvet mantles upon their shoulders. 
Then th^ guests would be brought to the 
supper table. 

But Arthur did not spend all his time 
dreaming in the woods or gazing at 
knights and ladies. For many hours of 
the day he practiced feats of arms in the 
courtyard. It was the custom in England 
to train boys of noble birth to be knights. 
As soon as they were old enough they 
were taught to ride. Later on, they lived 
much among the ladies and maidens, 
learning gentle manners. Under the 

care of the knights, they learned to hunt, ^^^^^ 
to carry a lance properly, and to use the Became 
sword; and having gained this skill, they ^^^ 
were made squires if they had shown 
themselves to be of good character. 

Then, day by day, the squires practiced 
at the quintain. This was an upright 
post, on the top of which turned a cross- 
piece, having on one end a broad board, 
and on the other a bag of sand. The ob- 
ject was to ride up at full gallop, strike 
the board with a long lance, and get 
away without being hit by the sand bag. 

Besides this, the squires had services 
to do for the knights, in order that 
they might learn to be useful in as many 
ways as possible, and to be always hum- 
ble. For instance, they took care of the 
armor of the knights, carried letters and 
messages for them, accompanied them at 
joustings and tournaments, being ready 
with extra weapons or assistance ; and in 
the castle they helped to serve the guests 
at table. After months of such service, 
they went through a beautiful ceremony 
and were made knights. In the country 
round about, Arthur, of all the squires, 

i6 ^ Mng 9ivtT9uv 

A^hur ^^^ ^^ most famous for his skill in the 
Became use of the lance and the sword, for his 
^^^ keenness in the hunt, and for his cour- 
tesy to all people. 

Now, at this time there was no ruler in 
England. The powerful Uther of Wales, 
who had governed England, was dead, 
and all the strong lords of the country 
were struggling to be king in his place. 
This gave rise to a great deal of quarrel- 
ing and bloodshed. 

There was in the land a wise magician 
named Merlin. He was so old that his 
beard was as white as snow, but his eyes 
were as clear as a little child's. He was 
very sorry to see all the fighting that was 
going on, because he feared that it would 
do serious harm to the kingdom. 

In those days the great and good men 
who ruled in the church had power almost 
equal to that of the monarch. The kings 
and the great lords listened to their ad- 
vice, and gave them much land, and 
money for themselves and for the poor. 
So Merlin went to the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, the churchman who in all 
England was the most beloved, and said: 

**Sir, it is my advice that you send to ^^^^^ 
all the great lords of the realm and bid Became 
them come to London by Christmas to ^^"^ 
choose a king." 

The archbishop did as Merlin advised, 
and at Christmas all the great lords came 
to London. The largest church in the 
city stood not far from the north bank of 
the Thames. A churchyard surrounded 
it, filled with yew trees, the trunks of 
which were knotted with age. The power- 
ful lords rode up in their clanking armor 
to the gate, where they dismounted, and 
giving their horses into the care of their 
squires, reverently entered the church. 

There were so many of them that they 
quite filled the nave and side-aisles of 
the building. The good archbishop, from 
where he stood in the chancel, looked 
down on them all. Just behind him was 
the altar covered with a cloth of crimson 
and gold, and surmounted by a golden 
crucifix and ten burning candles. In 
front of him, kneeling under the gray 
arches which spanned the church, were 
the greatest men in the kingdom. He 
looked at their stem bronzed faces, their 

i8 ^ Mm ^Vt^jUV 

Arthur ^^^^7 l^^ards, their broad shoulders, and 
Became their glittering armor, and prayed God to 
^^^ make the best man in the land king. 

Then began the service. At the close 
of the first prayer some of the knights 
looked out of the window, and there in 
the churchyard they saw a great square 
stone. In the middle of it was an anvil 
of steel a foot high, and fixed therein was 
a beautiful sword. On the sword was 
some writing set in with gold which said : 

'^Whosoever pulls this sword out of 
this stone and anvil is the real king of 
all England." 

The knights who read this told the 
archbishop, but he said : 

** I command you all to keep within the 
church and still pray to God. No man is 
to touch the sword until all the prayers 
are said.'' 

After the service was over, the lords 
went into the churchyard. They each 
pulled at the sword, but none could stir it. 

*'The king is not here/' said the arch- 
bishop, * ' but God will make him known. 
Meantime, let ten good knights keep 
watch over this sword." 

atin ^i^ fenlQi^tg ^ 19 

The knights were soon chosen, and ^^^^^ 
then the archbishop said that on a fixed Became 
day every man in the kingdom should ^^^ 
try to pull the sword out of the anvil. He 
ordered that on New Year's day all the 
people should be brought together for a 
great tournament to be held on the south 
bank of the Thames, near London bridge. 
After a few days spent in jousting among 
the knights, each man should make the 
trial to find out whether or not he was to 
be king. 

The brave youth Arthur did not know 
of the contest that was to be made for the 
sword. Sir Hector told him that he was 
to go to a tournament, but he did not tell 
him the reason for holding the tourna- 
ment. So Arthur rode to London with 
Sir Hector; and Sir Kay, who was Sir 
Hector's oldest son, was with them. 

Sir Hector and Sir Kay went soberly 
in front. They were tall, stalwart men 
and rode black horses, their dark figures 
making shadows on the light snow ^hat 
had fallen. Arthur, riding behind them, 
felt exhilarated by the crisp winter air 
which caused the blood to dance in his 

20 <^ Mm ^tt}^uv 

A^hur ^^i^s- Sometimes he stood up in his 
Became saddle and flicked with his sword the dead 
^^^ leaves on the oaks. Again he made his 
horse crush the thin crust of ice that had 
formed in tiny pools on the road. He 
was so happy in the thought of the tour- 
nament he was to see, that he could have 
sung for joy. 

The road was not very wide, for few 
carts passed upon it, but it had been well 
worn by riders. Sometimes it wound 
through a bit of thick woods ; again it 
rose up over a gently rolling hill. From 
the hilltops the riders could see London 
far in the distance. It looked at first like 
a gray haze ; then, as the three came 
nearer, the buildings, large and small, 
grew plain to the sight. The castles and 
huts, barns and sheds, smithies, shops and 
mills, stood out in the keen sunlight. A 
high wall surrounded them, while on one 
side flowed the river Thames. 

After they had entered the city, and 
had passed the churchyard, and had 
almost reached London bridge, Sir Kay 
discovered that he had left his sword at 

aim l^tg iSitiigfyt^ ^ 21 

'*Will you go back for it?" he asked ^^^^ 

Arthur. Becamif 

''That I will," said Arthur, glad of the ^'""^ 
chance to ride longer in the delightful air. 

But when he reached their dwelling, 
he could not get in. The drawbridge was 
raised, and he could not make the warden 
hear his calling. Then Arthur was dis- 
turbed, and said to himself: 

' ' I will hasten to the churchyard we 
passed, and take the beautiful sword 
which I saw in the stone. It does not 
seem to belong to anyone, and my brother 
Kay must have a weapon." 

So he rode on till he reached the 
churchyard, dismounted, and tied his 
horse to a sapling. The ten knights who 
guarded the sword had gone away to see 
the combats in the tournament. Arthur 
ran up and pulled lightly but eagerly at 
the sword. It came at once from the 
anvil. He hurried to Sir Kay, who was 
waiting for him on London bridge. Sir 
Kay knew that the weapon was the one 
that had been fixed fast in the stone, but 
he said nothing to Arthur, and the two 
soon overtook Sir Hector, who had ridden 

22 ^ Mm ^ttl^ttt; 

Ar^A^ slowly to the field where the tournament 
Becami^ was taking place. Sir Kay immediately 
'^^ told his father what had happened. 

The good knight at once spoke with 
great respect to Arthur. 

**Sir/' he said, "you must be the king 
of this land.'* 

''What mean you, sir?'' asked Arthur. 

Sir Hector told the wondering youth 
the reason why he was destined to be 
king. Then he said : 

*'Can you put this sword back in its 
place and pull it out again ?*' 

** Easily,'' replied Arthur. 

The three returned to the great stone, 
and Arthur put back the sword. Sir 
Hector tried to take it out, but failed. 

''Now, you try," he said to Sir Kay. 

But Sir Kay, in spite of great efforts, 
also failed. Then Arthur, at Sir Hector's 
bidding, tried, and at once pulled forth 
the sword. At that Sir Hector and Sir 
Kay knelt before Arthur. 

"Alas," said Arthur, raising them from 
the ground, ' ' my own dear father and my 
brother, why do you kneel to me?" 

"Nay, my lord Arthur," said Sir Hec- 


tor, '*I am not your father. You are of ^^^^ 
higher blood than I am. Long ago, when ^fj^^ 
you were a little baby. Merlin brought 
you to me to take care of, telling me that 
you were to be the king." 

* * Then whose son am I ? " cried Arthur. 

"There are two stories: the one that 
Merlin tells, and the one that old Bleys, 
the master of Merlin, tells. Merlin 
brought you to me, saying that you were 
the son of King Uther and Ygueme his 
wife. But because the king was dead 
and the lords powerful and jealous, he 
told me to guard you in secrecy lest your 
life be taken. I did not know whether 
the story was true or false then, but you 
were a helpless child, and Merlin was a 
wise sage, and so I took you and brought 
you up as my own." 

Arthur was so astonished that he did 
not ask to hear the tale that Bleys told. 
He stood gazing at Sir Hector, who said : 

"And now, my gracious lord, will you 
be good to me and mine when you are 

' ' I will, indeed, " replied Arthur, * * for 
I am more beholden to you than to any 

24 ^ Mm ^ivt^iuv 

Arthur ^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^ world, and also to my good 

Became lady and foster mother, your wife, who 

^^^ has reared me as if I were her own child. 

If it be God's will that I shall sometime 

become king, ask of me then what you 


'*Sir,'' said Sir Hector, ''I ask that you 
make my son Sir Kay, your foster brother, 
the steward of all your lands.'' 

'*That shall be done," said Arthur, 
**and more. He shall have that office as 
long as I live." 

Then the three went to the Archbishop 
of Canterbury and related to him the 
story of Merlin and all that had occurred. 
At his request they told no one else. 

At the command of the archbishop 
on Twelfth day, which is the sixth of 
January, all the great lords assembled in 
the churchyard. Each tried to draw forth 
the sword, and each failed. Then the 
untitled people came and tried. Every- 
one failed until at last Arthur stepped 
forward. He hardly more than touched 
the sword when it came away in his hand. 
At this many of the great lords were 

and f^$ Mtd^m ^ 

26 ^ Mm 9ivtl9nv 

^^^^^ * ^ He is but a boy/* they said, ' ' and not 

Became oi high blood/' 

i^g They refused to believe the story of 
his birth told by Merlin and Sir Hector. 
And because of all the quarreling, it was 
decided to have another trial at Candle- 
mas, which fell in the month of February. 
Again Arthur was victorious. Then the 
great lords decreed that there should be 
another trial at Easter, and again Arthur 
succeeded. Next they decided to have a 
final trial at the feast of the Pentecost, 
which fell in May. 

Meanwhile, Merlin advised the arch- 
bishop to see that Arthur had a body- 
guard. So the archbishop selected sev- 
eral knights whom the former king, 
Uther, had trusted. These were Sir Ul- 
fius and Sir Brastias and Sir Bedivere ; 
Sir Geraint and Sir Hector and Sir Kay 
were also chosen. These brave men 
formed a bodyguard for Arthur until the 
feast of the Pentecost. 

At this time Arthur again drew out the 
sword from the anvil. Then the common 
people, who had so far let the lords have 
their will, cried out: 

ami l^g ftttjgi^tjg gp 27 

"We will have Arthur for our king. ^^^^ 
and we will have no more delay, for we Becatm 
see that it is God's will that he shall be '*^ 
our ruler." 

Then all the people knelt down, high 
and low, rich and poor, and begged Ar- 
thur's pardon for the delay he had under- 
gone. Arthur forgave them, and taking 
his sword, reverently placed it on the great 
altar beside which the archbishop stood. 
This was a sign that he meant to dedicate 
himself and his sword to God. 

Afterward the crowning was held, and 
all the brave men and fair ladies in the 
land were present. The lords wore beau- 
tiful robes of velvet and ermine, with 
gold and jewels on their breast-plates. 
The ladies' robes were of purple and 
white and scarlet and gold and blue, and 
they wore many pearls and rubies and 
diamonds, so that all the place where 
thej^ were assembled was glowing with 
light and color. 

But Arthur, who wore a plain white 
robe, did not think of the beauty and 
richness. He was very grave, knowing 
that he was about to take a solemn oath. 

28 ^ Mm ^vtwt 

^^^^^ He bowed his head, while the archbishop 
Became set upon it the golden crown, which 
^^^ gleamed with jewels. Then he stood up 
before his people, and vowed that he 
would be a good king and always do jus- 
tice. All the people uncovered their heads 
and vowed to serve and obey him; and 
when he smiled kindly on them as he rode 
slowly through the throng, they threw up 
their caps and shouted joyfully: ''Long 
live King Arthur ! Long live the King !'' 
King Arthur chose worthy men for his 
officers, making Sir Kay stewgird as he 
had promised; Sir Ulfius he made cham- 
berlain, and Sir Brastias warden. Arthur 
gave offices also to Sir Hector and Sir 
Bedivere and Sir Geraint. 

After his crowning the king set about 
righting all the wrongs that had been 
done since the death of King Uther. He 
gave back the lands and money that had 
been taken from widows and orphans, and 
would permit no unkindness to any of his 
subjects. Thus, at the very beginning of 
his reign, his people began to call him 

anti W feirtgl^tg 




' OON after the crown- 
ing of King Ar- 
thur, he was journeying 
through the land with 
Merlin, the wise old ma- 
gician, when they met a 
knight who challenged 
Arthur to a combat. The two fought, 
and at last the knight wounded Arthur 
severely. In the end the king was vic- 
torious, but he had lost so much blood 
that he could go no farther. Merlin took 
him to a good hermit who healed his 
wound in three days. Then the king 
departed with Merlin, and as they were 
slowly riding along he said: 

' ' I am still weak from the blood I have 
lost, and my sword is broken/' 

''Do not fear,'' said Merlin. ''You 

30 -^ fetng artl^m: 

r^^c;^^?^ shall lose no more blood and you shall 

Sword "' 

Ex- have a good sword. Ride on trustfully 

calibur . , ^ , , 

With me. 

They rode in silence until they came to 
a lake, large and quiet, and as beautiful in 
color as a pearl. While Arthur was look- 
ing at its beauty, he became suddenly 
aware of three tall women, with fair, 
sweet faces, standing on the bank. 

*' Who are they?" the king asked. 

''Three queens who shall help you 
at your worst need," answered Merlin. 
'' Now look out upon the lake again." 

Arthur turned his eyes upon the lake 
and saw that in the distance a slight mist 
had arisen. Through it the figure of a 
lady glided over the surface of the water. 
Her robe appeared to be made of waves 
which streamed away in flowing curves 
from her body. Her head and shoulders 
seemed wrapped in foam tinted with the 
colors of the rainbow, and her arms glit- 
tered with sparkles which came from 
bubbles of water. She was so wonderful 
that Arthur looked at her for some time 
before he asked softly : 

''Who is she?" 

am> 0te fenfefttg ; 

32 ^ Mttg ^ttl^uv 

^^swofd "S^^ ^^ *^^ ^^^y ^^ *^^ Lake." said 
B^' Merlin. ' ' She lives in a rock in the mid- 
dle of the lake. See, she is coming to- 
ward us. Look at what is beyond her in 
the water.'' 

Arthur looked and saw rising above 
the surface of the water an arm clothed 
in pure white. This arm held a huge 
cross-hilted sword, so brilliant that Ar- 
thur's eyes were dazzled. 

When the Lady of the Lake ap- 
proached nearer, he said : 

' ' Damsel, what sword is that ? I wish 
it were mine, for I have none." 

The lady smiled, saying : 

''Step into yonder boat, row to the 
sword, and take it, together with the 

So Arthur entered a little boat that was 
tied to the shore, and rowed out to the 
sword. As he took it and the scabbard, 
all gleaming with jewels, the hand and 
arm vanished into the water. And when 
Arthur looked about, the three queens and 
the Lady of the Lake were also gone. 

As Arthur, still gazing at the sword, 
rowed to shore; Merlin said to him : 

anP !^(g ^nigW ^ 33 

'*My lord Arthur, which pleases you ^:^^^^^ 
more, sword or scabbard?'' £^- 

''In truth, the sword/' replied the 

''Let me assure you," said Merlin, 
smiling gravely, ''that the scabbard is 
worth ten of the sword. While you 
have it with you you shall never lose 
blood, no, no matter how sorely you are 
wounded. So see that you guard it 

The king, who was looking at the 
sword, sighed. 

"There is writing on the sword," he 

"True, my lord, written in the oldest 
tongue in the world." 

''Take me on one side," said iVrthur, 
' ' and Cast me away on the other. I am 
glad to take the sword, but it saddens me 
to think of casting it away." 

Merlin's face grew sad, too. He was 
so wise that he knew what was going to 
happen in the future, and he was well 
wsrare that when the time came to cast 
bo\ sword away, much evil would have 

^llen the good King Arthur. But he 


^ Mm artl^m: 

'^^Sword ^^^^ t^^t t^^ time was yet very far oflf ; 
:£"^- so he said: 

' ' You have taken the sword. Now use 
it to make justice and right prevail in all 
the land. Do not think of casting it away 
until you must.*' 

Arthur grew joyful again as he felt the 
strength of the good sword in his hand, 
and the two rode cheerfully forward 
through the country. 


rnin tig fetrtfii^tg s 



ALTHOUGH Arthur had been 
crowned king, he was by no means 
sure that all the nobles of the land would 
accept him as ruler. In accordance with 
the custom of the time, he gave a feast 
in order to find out who were his friends 
and who his enemies. All who came to 
the feast would, he supposed, consent to 
be his followers. 

He chose the largest hall in London, 
. and had the walls hung with rich cloths. 
Upon the floor, strewn with rushes, were 
placed trestles, and across these, boards 
were laid. Upon them fine white linen 
was spread, and golden saltcellars, wine- 
bowls, and water- jugs set about. 

When the guests assembled there were 

36 ^ Mm artl^m: 

G^a^f SO many that Arthur was delighted, for 

Feasf he thought they were all his friends. He 

jvAat sat at the head of one table, and Sir Hec- 
Fo//owed ^^^ g^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^£ ^^^ ^^j^^^^ Arthur 

wore a gold crown on his head, but it was 
no brighter than his hair, and the blue 
turquoises with which it was set were no 
bluer than his eyes. From his shoulders 
to the ground hung a magnificent red robe 
with gold dragons embroidered upon it. 
The cooks and squires came in from 
the kitchen carrying food, their ruddy 
faces beaming from the heat of the fires. 
First of all, sixty boars* heads were borne 
in on silver platters. Then followed, on 
golden dishes, peacocks and plovers 
which had been so skillfully cooked that 
their bright colors were preserved. After 
the guests had eaten all they cared for of 
this food, tiny roasted pigs were brought 
in, and set on all fours upon the tables. 
By this time, all the gold and silver gob- 
lets which had been filled with wine 
needed refilling. Then the squires car- 
ried in beautiful white swans on silver 
platters, and roasted cranes and curlews 
on plates that glowed like the sun. After 


atiD !^(g fenigl^tg g;^ 37 

that came rabbits stewed in sweet sauce, ^^^^^ 
and hams and curries. The last course ^^^ft 
consisted of tarts and preserves, dates and what 
figs and pomegranates. 

The supper began about five o'clock, 
and the guests ate and drank far into the 
night. Although it was past Easter time, 
the weather was a little cold, and so upon 
the stone flagging between the two long 
tables the king ordered fires to be lighted. 
The bright flames darted up, flashing on 
the gold threads woven in the hangings 
of the walls, and on the steel armor of 
the lords, and gleaming on the jewels set 
in the gold and silver goblets which the 
squires were carrying about. At one side 
sat a band of musicians singing of the 
glories of King Arthur and his ancestors, 
and accompanying themselves on their 

After the guests had risen from the 
tables and gone to their camps, Arthur 
sent messengers to them with rich gifts 
of horses and furs and gold. But most 
of the lords received the messengers 

' ' Take back these gifts to the beardless 

38 '^ fetng artl^m: 

cJ^at ^^y ^^^ ^^^ come of low blood/' they 
Feast said ; ' ' we do not want them. We have 
What come here to give him gifts of hard blows 

Followed ^.^j^ ^^^ ^^^^ swords/' 

The messengers were astonished to 
hear these things spoken of their good 
king. Nevertheless, they told Arthur 
all that had been said to them. He sent 
no answer back, but he called together 
all the lords who he was sure were loyal 
to him, and asked their advice. They 
said to him : 

'* We cannot give you advice, but we 
can fight.'' 

'* You speak well, my lords," answered 
Arthur, ''and I thank you for your cour- 
age. Will you take the advice of Merlin ? 
You know that he has done much for me, 
and he is very wise." 

The lords and barons answered that 
they would do whatever Merlin advised. 
When Merlin came to the council hall he 

**I warn you that your enemies are 
very strong. They have added to their 
numbers so that now you have against 
you eleven mighty kings." 

ami l^tg imiQfyt^ ^ 39 

At this the lords looked dismayed. ^;^^^ 

' * Unless our lord Arthur has more men ^^^sf 
than he can find in his own realm," said pvAa^ 
Merlin, ' * he will be overcome and slain. ^"^ ^^ 
Therefore I give you this counsel. There 
are two brothers across the sea ; both are 
monarchs and both very strong. One is 
King Ban of Benwick, and the other is 
King Bors of Gaul. Now these two have 
an enemy, also a powerful ruler. There- 
fore, send to the brothers, King Bors and 
King Ban who are now both in Benwick, 
and say to them that if they will help 
Arthur in his war against the eleven 
kings, Arthur will help them against 
their common enemy. " 

"That is very good counsel,'' said the 
king and the lords. 

So they chose Sir Ulfius and Sir Bras- 
tias as messengers, and these two hur- 
ried away, hopeful of success. When^ , 
they reached the town in Benwick where 
King Bors and King Ban were, knights 
came forth to receive them and to hear 
their message. As soon as it was learned 
from whom they had come they were led 
into the presence of the brothers. Both 

40 '^ feing artl^ttr 

Gr^at ^^^^ very large men. King Bors was 

Feast dark, and was dressed in black armor. 

What King Ban was dark, too; the colors that 

Followed j^^ wore on his shield were greep and 

gold. He was the father of Sir Lancelot, 

the knight who afterwards became the 

most powerful of the followers of Arthur. 

The two kings received Sir Ulfius and 
Sir Brastias with much favor. 

' 'Tell King Arthur, " they said, ' 'that we 
will come to him as quickly as we can.*' 

Then they gave splendid gifts to Sir 
Ulfius and Sir Brastias, who hurried back 
to Arthur with the mess,age. 

In a short time King Bors and King 
Ban arrived with ten thousand of their 
' soldiers, and as Arthur had ten thousand, 
they felt certain of victory. They went 
into Wales, a country which Arthur s 
followers knew well, and waited confi- 
dently for the enemy. 

The eleven kings collected a great host 
of sixty thousand men, fifty thousand on 
horseback and ten thousand on foot. 
They marched towards the place where 
Arthur was, and set up their camp near 
a wood about a mile distant. When 

anp m» imigW^ 

Bors ana 

42 ^ Mm Strtl^ttg 

^^^^^ Merlin knew this, he said to Arthur and 

Feast the two kings: 

ivAat ''This is my advice: Set upon your 
Followed ^j^gjj3Ligg g^t midnight when they are un- 
prepared, and then you will have the 

So Arthur and the two royal brothers 
and the twenty thousand soldiers crept 
up to where the eleven kings and their 
men lay. They took a road circling 
round the wood. Moving with great cau- 
tion, they drew nearer and nearer until 
they could see first the camp fires in a 
circle around the white tents ; and then, 
against the flashing flames, the dark 
figures of the men who were keeping 
guard. Sometimes they were afraid that 
the noise they made would alarm their 
enemies, but on account of a heavy wind- 
storm, they were unheard. When his men 
were quite near, Arthur gave the word 
of command. The whole army uttered a 
great shout, and ran forward in com- 
panies upon their enemies. In a few 
mintrtes they had knocked down most of 
the tents, and killed many soldiers. 

It was a dreadful thing to be attacked in 

the dark without warning. But the eleven ^^^^^ 
kings were brave men, even though they ^^^s^ 
were so unjust to Arthur in trying to ivAa/ 
take his kingdom from him, and made a ^^^^^'^^^ 
good fight. Perhaps they would have 
made a better one if they had known 
how few the men were under Arthur. 

Before day dawned, Merlin told Ar- 
thur to draw back his troops. This he 
did, leaving about ten thousand of the 
enemy dead behind him. He, however, 
had not lost very many men. 

At daybreak Arthur and his followers 
saw that the lay of the land could be used 
to their advantage. Between them and 
the enemy was a narrow road, bounded 
on one side by a lake, and on the other 
side by a dense wood. One part of this 
wood, however, was thin enough to allow 
men to hide in it. 

''Now," said Merlin, ''let King Bors 
and King Ban take their soldiers and hide 
in the wood for a long time. Then, my 
lord Arthur, stand up before the enemy 
with your men." 

"Why shall we do this?" asked Arthur. 

"Because," said the wise old man, 

44 ^ Mm ^vtWv 

The * * when the eleven kings see how few in 

Great ^ 

Feast number your troops are, they will let you 

What proceed down the passage. They will 

Followed ^j^.^j^ ^^^^ .f y^^ march close to them 

they can overcome you. But you can fill 
up this narrow road with more and more 
men from the wood. Then the enemy 
cannot surround you.*' ., 

**That seems very good/' said Arthur. 

**And at last," continued Merlin, 
''when the eleven kings are weary, let 
King Bors and King Ban come forth. 
Then surely the courage of our enemies 
will fail." 

The plan was carried out. Arthur's 
men marched down the passage. The 
green wood was on one side, and on the 
other was the lake, the water of which 
was so clear that it reflected the bodies of 
the soldiers with their shields and hel- 
mets. The sun shone on their armor. 
The little birds in the woods sang as 
they passed. But the men were thinking 
of nothing but the expected battle. 

When they had come close to the 
enemy, they saw the eleven kings all in 
a row, mounted on big handsome horses. 

ann l^g iBosi^W ^ 45 

Their fifty thousand men were behind ^^^^ 
them. Suddenly these rode forward and J^^as/ 
the battle began. "ivAaf 

It was a fierce fight. In a very short ^^^^^"'^^ 
time the field was covered with over- 
thrown men and horses. Broken shields 
and helmets lay on the ground, and many 
of the knights who had been fighting on 
horseback were unhorsed, and were fight- 
ing on foot. Arthur galloped here and 
there among his enemies, conquering 
with his trusty sword all with whom 
he fought. The woods and the water 
rang with his sword strokes. The noise 
drowned the sweet songs of the birds, but 
still they sang, and flew about gaily, all 
unaware of the grim death-struggle go- 
ing on beneath them. 

Finally the time arrived for bringing 
forward King Bors and his men. The 
great dark king went thundering down 
upon his enemies. When the King of 
Orkney saw him coming, he cried : 

"Oh, we are in great danger! I see 
King Bors, one of the best and bravest 
kings in the worid, and he is helping our 

46 ^ Mm Strtl^ttg 

Gret^t Then the other kings were astonished, 
Feast for they did not know that Arthur had 
iv^at sent outside his country for help. 

Fo//owed . . g^^ ^^ ^. jj ggj^^ ^^ „ ^j^^y g^j^^ , , ^^ 

matter how powerful he is/' 

While they were still fighting, but with 
great loss of courage, they heard the loud 
sounds made by the hoofs of other tramp- 
ing horses, and King Ban rode down on 
them, followed by his men. His black 
brows were frowning, and his green and 
gold colors glittered in the sun. 

'*Alas, alas!'* cried the King of Orkney, 
''now in truth are we lost, fox here is 
another king, no less great than his 
brother Bors. But we must neither flee 
nor yield.'' 

The eleven kings, being agreed to this, 
continued t^e battle, though so many of 
their men were killed that the King of 
Orkney wept. When he saw some of his 
men running away, he wept still more, 
for he thought it was better to die than 
to be a coward. 

Though they did not intend to run 
away, the eleven kings thought it would 
be wise to retreat to a little copse near by. 

It was late and they were tired and wished J^^^^ 
to rest before fighting again. King Bors ^^^^^ 
and King Ban could not help admiring ivAat 

.1 1 Followed 

these rulers. 

'*In truth/' said King Ban, **they are 
the bravest men I ever saw. I would they 
were your friends." 

** Indeed, so would I,'* replied Arthur; 
' * but I have no hope of that, for they are 
determined to destroy me, and so we 
must fight om." 

At this moment Merlin rode up oh his 
great black horse. 

''Have you not done enough?" he cried 
to Arthur. ''Of their sixty thousand 
men there are left but fifteen thousand. 
It is time to stop, I say. If you fight on, 
they will win the day. The tide will 
turn against you." 

Arthur hesitated and Merlin said: 

' ' The eleven kings have a great trouble 
coming of which they are ignorant. The 
Saracens have landed in their countries 
to the number of over forty thousand 
So your enemies will have so much fight- 
ing to do that they will not attack you 
again for three years." 

48 ^ Mm ^vtljnv 

^J^^^ Then Arthur was glad, for it had 
Feast grieved him deeply to fight so long and 
What to lose his good soldiers. 
Followed . . ^^ ^.jj ggj^^ ^^ more, " he said. 

*^That is well," replied Merlin. '* Now 
give presents to your soldiers, for to-day 
they have proved themselves equal to the 
best fighters in the world." 

''True, indeed!" exclaimed King Bors 
and King Ban. 

So Arthur gave gifts to his own men ; 
and a great deal of gold to the brother 
kings, both for themselves and for their 
soldiers. And the two kings went home 


^- -fj ^^^ f^ 

AFTER Arthur had proved his prow- 
. ess in his contest with the eleven 
kings, he decided to establish his Court 
and the Order of the Round Table. The 
place he chose was the cit3^ of Camelot in 
Wales, which had a good situation, being 
built upon a hill. He called the wise 
Merlin and ordered him to make a great 
palace on the summit of the hill. Through 
his powers of enchantment. Merlin was 
able to do this verj" quickly, and within 
a week the king and his personal attend- 
ants were settled in the palace. 

The main part consisted of a great 
Assembly Hall built of white marble, the 
roof of which seemed to be upheld b)" 
pillars of green and red porphyry, and 

4 [49] 

50 ^ Mn^ artl^ttr 

"^^cour/ ^^^ surmounted by magnificent towers. 
and the The outside walls of the hall were covered 
of 'the with beautiful rows of sculpture. The 
rltfe lowest row represented wild beasts slay- 
ing men. The second row represented 
men slaying wild beasts. The third 
represented warriors who were peaceful, 
good men. The fourth showed men with 
growing wings. Over all was a winged 
statue with the face of Arthur. Merlin 
meant to show by means of the first row 
that formerly evil in men was greater 
than good ; by the second that men began 
to conquer the evil in themselves, which 
in time caused them to become really 
good, noble, and peace-loving men, as in 
the third row. And finally, through the 
refining influence of Good King Arthur 
and his wise helpers, men would grow to 
be almost as perfect as the angels. 

The main doorway was in the shape 
of an arch, upheld by pillars of dark yel- 
low marble. The hall was lighted by 
fourteen great windows, through which 
the light streamed in soft colors upon the 
marble floors. Between these windows, 
and along the cornices, were beautiful 

decorations. There were carvings in "^^^^^^'^ 
white marble of birds and beasts and g^^^^^ 
twining vines. There was mosaic work of the 
of black and yellow and pink marble and Tabif 
of lapis lazuli, as blue as a lake when 
the clear sun shines full upon its surface. 
Under the windows were many stone 
shields, beneath each of which was the 
name of a knight. Some shields were 
blazoned with gold, some were carved, 
and some were blank. The walls were 
hung with beautiful tapestries which had 
been woven by the ladies of the land for 
Arthur's new palace. On each had been 
pictured some episode from the life of 
King Arthur; the drawing of the magic 
sword from the anvil, the finding of the 
good sword Excalibur, his deeds of jus- 
tice and acts of kindness, and his many 
battles and wars. 

The two wings of the palace con- 
tained the dining hall and_ kitchen and 
the living apartments of all the members 
of the court, who made their home with 
the king. The dining hall was only a 
little less beautiful than Arthur's great 
Assembly Hall. The walls were hung 

52 ^ Mm ^vtTauv 

^"^ Court ^^^^ cloths of scarlet and gold. The 

^7fd^^ deep fireplace was supported by four 

o^ the bronze pillars. In the middle of the room 

Tabfe Were long tables made of oak boards set 

on ivory trestles. At a banquet the walls 

were hung with garlands of flowers or 

festoons of branches. 

The great kitchen had stone walls and 
stone flagging. The fireplace was so large 
that there was room for a whole ox to be 
roasted, and above hung cranes from 
which half a dozen kettles could be sus- 
pended, and pots of such a size that pigs 
could be boiled whole in them. All about 
the walls were cupboards. Some were 
full of plates of wood, iron, steel, silver, 
and gold, and flagons, cups, bowls, and 
saltcellars of gold and silver. Others 
were used for the storing of cold meats 
and fruits. There were several tables 
on which the cooked food was cut, and 
benches upon which the cooks rested 
when they were tired of serving the hun- 
gry eaters. 

Well might they have grown tired. 

Supper, the most important meal of the 
day, lasted from three until six, and often 

ata> i^g tmlfi^ ^ 53 

longer. But the cooks, and the little scul- q^^^' 
lion boys who washed the pots and pans, and the 
and the attendants who carried in the food oftiu 
to the dining hall, all wore contentment -/a^u 
and happiness on their faces as they 
hurried about with their long blouses 
tucked out of harm's way; for to serve 
King Arthur and his guests was consid- 
ered a real privilege. 

The sleeping rooms were furnished 
with chests, and chairs, and beds spread 
with fine linen and with ermine-lined 
covers. Hangings of various colors were 
upon the walls. On the floors were strewn 
rushes, and among them was thrown 
mint which gave forth an agreeable odor- 
After Arthur, his officers, and his serv- 
ants had been in the palace a few days, 
the king formally established his Court 
He invited all the knights who cared to 
do so to come with their families and 
retinues and live with him. Some pre- 
ferred to remain in their own castles, but 
others gladly went to live with the king. 
Soon all were comfortably settled. 

The king s officers were very important 
members of Arthur's court. First of these 

54 ^ Mm sttti^ttg 

"^^Cour^^ came the Archbishop of Canterbury, who 
tf«^M^ held the highest place in the kind's 
^tAe regard. It was his duty to conduct the 
Tadfe church services for Arthur and his fol- 
lowers, and to christen, marry, and bury 
the people of Camelot. Next, Sir Ulfius 
as chamberlain superintended the care of 
the king's rooms. Sir Brastias, who was 
warden, superintended the servants. Sir 
Kay, who was steward, had charge of all 
the food and the kitchen. Sir Hector, as 
treasurer, took care of the king's gold 
and rendered the accounts. Sir Geraint 
managed all the tournaments and out- 
door sports of the knights and squires. 
There were other officers to help these, 
and all did their work faithfully and lov- 

The knights whom Arthur chose to be 
members of his Round Table were mostly 
selected from these ofl&cers. As members 
of this order there were one hundred 
and fifty of the knights who had shown 
themselves especially brave in battle and 
who were devoted followers of the king. 
Next to being king, the greatest honor 
which could fall to a warrior was to be 

anp f^g »w(sl^tg g=> 55 

made a member of the Round Table, for ^j]^^^''*^ 
all who belonged to the order were dedi- andtk^ 
cated to the service of God and mankind, o/tk^ 
There is no glory greater than such a tJI^ 

In his great hall Arthur had placed 
a huge table, made round in shape so 
that there should be neither head nor 
foot, a higher place nor a lower place. 
Arthur wished all who sat there to be 
equals. These chosen knights were to 
give him council in times of peace and 
of war. 

It was a solemn hour when the knights 
took their places. The Archbishop of 
Canterbury blessed them and their seats. 
Then each one came to Arthur, who stood 
at the top of the Assembly Hall, and did 
him homage. Next they took their vows. 
They promised to be brave and good, 
never false, or mean, or cruel. If any- 
one with whom they fought begged for 
mercy, they would show him mercy. 
And they vowed never to fight for a 
wrong cause or for money. Each year 
at the feast of the Pentecost they were 
to repeat these vows. 

56 ^ MnQ artl^ur 

^^^court Other members of Arthur's Court 
<^ndthe were old, brave knights who could no 
of the longer fight, but who liked to be near 
^Tabie the king and his warriors, and gave the 
wisdom of age and experience to his 
councils; young, ambitious, and promis- 
ing knights who had had but little real 
experience in battle; and faithful squires 
who had had no real experience at all. 
Boys from six to fourteen years were 
pages. There were others who trans- 
formed Arthur's Court to a place of grace 
and beauty, — the mothers, wives, sisters, 
and daughters of the warriors. 

Although they did not help in the 
councils of war, these ladies were of great 
assistance in training the knights to be 
tender and courteous. They taught the 
little pages good manners and unselfish- 
ness. They assisted the knights in re- 
moving their armor when they came in 
tired from riding or fighting. They sat 
with Arthur and the knights in the even- 
ing in the dining-hall, singing or playing 
upon harps, or listening to the tales that 
were told. When the knights were away 
the ladies stayed in their own chambers, 

hearing wise readings from the Arch- ^J^^/'^^ 
bishop of Canterbury, or other learned anJ/A^ 
men, listening to Meriin's words of wis- ^/>br 
dom, and embroidering the beautiful j-^// 
hangings and cushions which were to 
adorn the palace. 

It was a month before Arthur s Court 
was established, and during that time the 
city of Camelot was a scene of continual 
merriment. The people of the place were 
glad that the king had come, for that 
meant much gain for them. Those of 
them who did not live in the palace had 
their houses or shops on the streets which 
wound about the foot of the hill. Many 
of the shops belonged to armorers, who 
had armor of all sorts for any one who 
would buy. They were glad in their 
turn to buy the swords of famous knights 
which had been used in great battles, for 
such weapons they could always sell 
again at a good price. These shop- 
keepers and the servants and the squires 
and the warriors all united to make the 
city of Camelot a beautiful one, for the 
sake of their king. The streets were kept 
strewn with rushes and flowers. Rich 

58 ^ Mm arti^ttt 

^^cour/ awnings and silken draperies were hung 
and the f rom the houses. 
d'the All day long processions passed, made 
rltfe up of the followers of all those lords 
who gave allegiance to the king. They 
carried the banners of their masters, 
crimson, white, or scarlet, gold, silver, or 
azure, making the streets glow with color. 
The marching squires wore ornamented 
blouses, drawn in at the waist, long 
silk stockings, and shoes of embroidered 
leather. The bowmen were dressed in 
green kirtles, rather shorter than those of 
the squires, and wore dark woolen hose ; 
they carried their bows and arrows slung 
across their shoulders. The servants 
were dressed in much the same way, 
except that their blouses were longer and 
of various colors. Many knights rode in 
the processions, their long plumes wav- 
ing in the wind, their armor shining, and 
their falcons perched upon their wrists. 
All day long, too, bands of musicians 
played on flutes and timbrels and tabors 
and harps; bands of young men and 
women sang songs in praise of the king ; 
story-tellers went about relating old tales 

anP l^(g iBMiQfytfi ^ 59 

of famous heroes. The young men "^ll^^^ 
showed their strength by tumbling and ^«^'^ 
wrestling, and their grace by dancing; of the 
the young women also danced. Tabu 

The wise Merlin often passed along 
the streets, walking silently among the 
merry throngs of people. Sometimes the 
little Dagonet danced at his side, Dagonet 
the king's jester, a tiny man who made 
merriment for the Court with his witty 
sayings. He always wore a tight-fitting 
red blouse and a peaked cap ornamented 
with bells, and he carried a mock scepter 
in the shape of a carved ivory stick. 

Whenever Arthur appeared before his 
people, church-bells were joyously rung 
and trumpets were sounded. The king, 
as he rode, distributed presents to the 
poor people: — capes, coats, and mantles 
of serge, and bushels of pence. In a 
dining-hall at the palace, feasts for the 
poor were held on those days, which were 
also open for all the people who might 

When the weather was beautiful, 
tables were placed on the sward outside 
the palace, and those who cared to, ate 

6o ^ Mm ^vtl^nv 

"^^^court ^^der the shade of the trees, listening to 
and the the music of the blackbirds, whose singing 
of the was almost as loud as that of the chorus 
^T^bfe of damsels who sang in the palace. 
Every hour the servants carried in and 
out great quarters of venison, roasted 
pheasants and herons, and young hawks, 
ducks, and geese, all on silver platters. 
Curries and stews and tarts were innu- 
merable. In the midst of the sward a 
silver fountain had been set from which 
flowed sweet wine. Even the great feasts 
of the year, which were held at Christ- 
mas, upon the day of the Passover, at 
Pentecost, upon Ascension day, and upon 
St. John's day, were not as wonderful as 
these feasts, when the king held holiday 
with his people. 

On these days of merriment, when 
the people were not eating or drinking 
or marching in processions, they were 
at the tournament field, watching the 
combats. Here the best of Arthurs 
knights, mounted on strong horses and 
wearing heavy armor, were ranged on 
two sides of the field. Behind each row 
was a pavilion filled with ladies. Four 

atiD l^(g ixtii^W ^ 6^ 

heralds stood ready to blow the trumpets "^lH^^^^ 


' s 

which gave the signal for the combats, and the 

Each herald wore crimson silk stock- of the 
ings and crimson velvet kittles, tight at Tablf 

the waist, and reaching half-way to the 

When it was time to begin the heralds 
blew the trumpets, the ladies bent over 
eagerly, and the knights spurred their 
horses forward, riding with their lances 
in rest. In a moment clouds of dust 
arose, circling up as high as the plumes 
on the knights' helmets, and their lances 
crashed against each other's shields. 
Many of the lances broke. Sometimes 
the shock of contact overthrew a knight. 
But no one was hurt, for the good King 
Arthur had ordered that the combats 
should be friendly. 

When the'jousting had lasted for sev- 
eral hours, those knights who had shown 
themselves the stronger, received prizes 
from the ladies. The prizes were suits of 
armor ornamented with gold, and swords 
with jeweled hilts. The knight who, of 
all, was the strongest, chose the lady 
whom he considered most beautiful, and 

62 ^ jfefng QivtWt 

Arthur's crowned her "The Queen of Love and 

Court -r. ,, 

and the Beauty. 
of the During the month of feasting, Arthur 

^Tabfe made knights of some of the squires. A 
young squire was first obliged to show his 
skill in tilting at the quintain. Then his 
father presented him with falcons and 
sparrowhawks for hunting, and arms and 
robes. He also gave robes and arms 
to his son's companions, and, to their 
mothers and sisters, furs and embroid- 
ered robes, and belts of gold. Finally he 
gave money to the singers and players, 
and servants, and to the poor people of 

At about sunset the young squire 
went into the church, where the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury held a solemn serv- 
ice. The youth took the armor which he 
had chosen, and placed it on the floor in 
front of the altar. He was then left alone, 
and all night long he prayed fervently to 
God to give him strength to be a noble 
and true knight. In the morning the 
king came to the church, attended by 
his nobles and by the archbishop. The 
squire laid his sword on the altar, thus 

signifying his devotion to Christ and his ^^^^^^^^ 
determination to lead a holy life. King anJ/A^ 
Arthur bound the sword and spurs on the o/iA^ 
young man, and, taking Excalibur, he r^if 
smote him lightly on the shoulder with 
it, saying, "Be thou a true and faithful 

Then the squire took a solemn oath to 
protect all who were in distress, to do 
right, to be a pure knight, and to have 
faith in God. After that the Archbishop 
of Canterbury preached a solemn sermon. 

When the month of feasting and holi- 
day was ended, the members of the Court 
returned to their usual habits of life. The 
Knights of the Round Table went forth 
to right wrongs and to enforce the law. 
All who were in distress came to the 
king for help. And to the whole country 
Arthur's Court was famous as a place 
where unkindness was never done, and 
where truth, justice, and love reigned. 

^ Mm ^vti^nv 


AFTER Arthur had been established 
. in his Court for some time, his 
neighbor, Leodogran, the king of Came- 
liard, asked him for help in a battle. To 
this Arthur cheerfully consented, and 
gathered his warrior men about him. 

It chanced, as he and his men were 
marching past the castle of Leodogran 
to meet the enemy, the king's daughter, 
Guinevere, who was the most beautiful 
lady in all that land, stood on the castle 
wall to watch her father's allies pass. 
Now she did not know, of all the knights 
who rode by, which was Arthur. Many 
wore gold and jewels on their armor, 
while the king's armor was plain. 

But Arthur saw her bending over the 
[64 1 

anil l^(g iBOfigfyt^ ^ 

over tne 

66 ^ Mm ^vG^nt 

Ar/hur ^^* ^^^ ^^^ slendet and graceful ; her 
and the black hair fell in two long heavy braids 

Princess 11111 1 

Guin- over each shoulder ; her eyes were large 
^'^^^^ and black. And Arthur felt a warm love 
spring from his heart for her, and said 
to himself : 

*'If I win this battle for Leodogran, I 
shall ask him to give me the princess 
Guinevere for wife/' 

His love for Guinevere made him fight 
even more bravely than usual, and he 
soon won the battle. After he had 
returned to Camelot, he told his knights 
that he wished to marry the princess. 
They were very glad, because they, too, 
had seen her and thought her the most 
beautiful lady they had ever beheld. 

Then Arthur said : 

*'I will send my three good knights, 
Sir Ulfius and Sir Brastias and Sir 
Bedivere, to King Leodogran to ask for 

The three knights set forth gayly, feel- 
ing certain that King Leodogran would 
be glad to marry his daughter to their 
great Arthur. When, however, they 
came to the castle of Leodogran with 

their request, the king hesitated. He 5^f«r 
bade them wait for a little while in the ^/^ 
room adjoining his large hall. Then he g^"^ 
said to himself : . ^^''^ 

"Arthur has helped me, indeed. I 
know, too, that he is powerful. But I 
hear strange stories of his birth. There 
are people who say that he is not a king's 
son. However great he is, I cannot give 
him my only daughter unless he is really 
a true king, bom of royal blood." 

He called the oldest knight in his king- 
dom and said to him : 

''Bo you know an3i:hing about Ar- 
thurs birth?" 

The old man looked very wise and 

** There are two men who do know; 
the younger of them is twice as old as I 
am. They are Merlin, and Bleys, the 
master of Merlin. Ble} s has written 
down the secret of Arthur s birth in a 

Then King Leodogran laughed a little 
and said: 

'*My friend, your words have not 
helped me much. If Arthur had not 

68 ^ Mm ^vtwt 

Ar/hur ^^^^P^^ ^^ ^^ ^Y time of need more than 
and the you have helped me now, I should have 
Gum- been lost indeed. Go and call Sir Ulfius 
^^^""^ and Sir Brastias and Sir Bedivere." 

So the old man brought in the three 
knights, and Leodogran said to them : 

**I hear strange tales of your king's 
birth. Some say that he is indeed the son 
of the late King Uther, but others say 
that he is the son of Sir Hector. Do you 
believe that he is Uther^s son?" 

They said *' Yes, '' and then told King 
Leodogran that Sir Hector had brought 
up King Arthur as his son, for fear that 
those who wanted the throne would kill 
the child ; and that Arthur was undoubt- 
edly Uther s son. 

Still King Leodogran could not make 
up his mind. He bade the three lords 
remain with him for a few days. 

Meanwhile the beautiful Queen Belli- 
cent came to the Court, and Leodogran 
asked her advice. 

* * Do you think Arthur is a great king ? " 
he asked. **Will he always be great?" 

**He is very great," said the queen. 
**And all his people love him. Perhaps 

an3> 1^ fen^^ sy 69 

he has not many lords, but their deep love ^fjj^^ 
makes up for their small number/' oKdiiu 

**That may be true," replied the king, g^" 

"Besides that," added the queen, -they ^"^' 
are good men. As you know, the Knights 
of the Round Table are bound by vows 
to be kind and true and merciful and 

"I have heard it." said the king. 

"Moreover." went on Queen Bellicent, 
"Arthur has powerful friends: Merlin, 
the magician, and the Lady of the Lake, 
who gave him his sword Excalibur, and 
the three fair queens, who will help him 
when he needs help most." 

"Yes, yes," said King Leodogran. "if 
all this is true. Arthur must prevail over 
his enemies. But is he the son of King 
Lather and Queen Ygueme ? You are the 
daughter of Queen Ygueme by an earlier 
marriage, and, therefore, Arthurs half- 
sister if Arthur is really L ther s son. You 
ought surely to know the truth." 

Bellicent waited a little while, and 
then said: 

*• King Leodogran, I do not know what 
the truth is. There are two stories: the 

70 -^ feing attl^ur 

y^/^l^f st^^y Merlin tells and the story Bleys 

and the tells. Metlin says that Arthur is Uther s 

Guin- son, and indeed I should like to believe 

evere ^x >> 

''But you are not .sure?'' asked the 

**I am not sure. For my mother 
Yguerne was dark, and King Uther was 
dark. Their hair and eyes were black 
like mine. Yet Arthur's hair is as bright 
as gold. Besides, there is the story of 
old Bleys." 

''What is his story?" 

"He says that Uther died, weeping 
because he had no heir. Then Bleys and 
Merlin, who were present at his death, 
passed together out of the castle. It was 
a stormy night, and as they walked along 
by the lake they were forced by the 
roar of the tempest to look out upon the 
waves, whipped by the wind. 

"Suddenly they saw a ship on the 
water. It had the shape of a winged 
dragon. All over its decks stood a multi- 
tude of people shining like gold. Then 
the ship vanished, and a number of great 
waves began to roll in towards shore. 

an3> 1^ feirffi^ ^j' 71 

The ninth of these waves seemed as large ^^^^ 
as half the sea. It was murmuring with ^uutjk^ 
strange voices and rippling with flames. Gm/m- 
In the midst of the flames was a little '^^^ 
fair-haired baby who was borne to Mer- 
lin's feet. Merlin stooped and picked it 
up, and cried, 'The King! Here is an 
heir for Uther !' This, King Leodogran, 
is the story Bleys told me before he died." 

King Leodogran wondered very much. 
Then he said: 

*'But did you not question Meriin 
about this?" 

• * Yes, " answered Queen Bellicent. * * I 
asked him if this story of Bleys was true. 
He would only answer me with a riddle." 

As King Leodogran was still silent, she 

*' Do not fear to give your daughter to 
Arthur, for he will be the greatest king 
the world has ever seen." 

LecKiogran felt less doubtful. While 
he was thinking, he fell asleep and had a 
dream. He saw in his dream a field cov- 
ered with mist and smoke, and a phantom 
king standing in the cloud. He heard a 
voice which said, ''This is not our king; 

72 ^ Mm ^vtwv 

J^/l^g this is not the son of Uther/' But sud- 

and the denly the mist disappeared and the king 

^Guin- stood out in heaven, crowned. 

evere King Leodogran took this dream for a 

good sign. He called the three knights, 

Sir Ulfius and Sir Brastias and Sir Bedi- 

vere, and said to them : 

' * Say to your king that I will give him 
Guinevere for his wife." 

So the three hastily returned to King 
Arthur, who was overjoyed with their 

In the month of May he sent Sir Lance- 
lot, the son of King Ban, for Guinevere. 
When she came, the Archbishop of Can- 
terbury married them. And he blessed 
them and said that they, with the help of 
the Knights of the Round Table, must 
do much good for the land. 

ann i^g fttrffi^tg s 


THE beautiful Queen Bellicent had 
many sons, all of whom had gone 
out in the world except the youngest. 
His name was Gareth. His two brothers, 
Gawain and Modred, were with the good 
King Arthur, and Gareth longed to join 
them. His mother, however, would not 
let him go. 

"You are not yet a man," she said. 
"You are only a child. Stay a little 
longer with me." 

So Gareth stayed. One day he came 
to his mother and said : 

" Mother, may I tell you a story?" 

"Gladly," she replied. 

"Then, mother, once there was a 


Conlin^ golden egg which a royal eagle had laid, 
ofGareth away Up in a tree. It was so high up 
that it could hardly be seen. But a 
youth, who though poor was brave, saw 
it, and longed for it. He knew that if he 
could get it, it would bring wealth and 
prosperity to him. So he tried to climb. 
One who loved him stopped him, saying, 
'You will fall and be killed if you try to 
reach that height.' Therefore the poor 
boy did not climb, and so did not fall ; biit 
he pined away with longing till his heart 
broke and he died.'' 

Queen Bellicent answered : 

**If the person who held him back 
had loved him, that person would have 
climbed, and found the egg, and given it 
to the youth." 

''That could not be,'' said Gareth. 
"Mother, suppose the egg were not gold, 
but steel, the same steel that Arthur's 
sword Excalibur is made of." 

The queen grew pale, for she now un- 
derstood his meaning. 

But Gareth spoke on : 

"Dear mother, the gold egg is the 
glory to be won at Arthur's Court; I am 

atiD !^(g JKnfgl^tg ^ 75 

the poor youth, and you are the one who J^^^^.^ 
holds me back. Mother, let me go ! '' o/ Caret h 

Then Bellicent wept, and she said: 

' ' Oh, my son, do not leave me. You 
love me more than Gawain and Modred. 
You are all I have left in the world.'' 

But Gareth replied : 

"Mother, I waste my strength here." 

''No, no," she said. '' You shall hunt; 
you shall follow the deer and the fox, and 
so grow strong. Then I will find you 
a beautiful wife, and we shall all live 
together till I die.'' 

Gareth shook his head. 

"No, mother. I do not want a wife 
until I have proved myself to be a worthy 
and brave knight. I wish to follow Ar- 
thur, my good king and uncle." 

' ' Perhaps he is not the true king and 
your uncle," Bellicent said. "At least 
wait a little till he has shown himself to 
be the greatest kijig in the world. Stay 
with me." 

' ' Nay, mother, " he said. ' ' I must go. " 

Then the queen thought of a plan 
which she hoped would soon make him 
willing to stay home. 

76 -^ ifethg ^n^ut 

com^n^ ''If I let you go, my son, you must 
ofGareth make me a promise. The promise will 
prove your love to me/' 

''I will make a hundred promises,'' 
cried young Gareth, ' ' if you will only let 
me go." 

''Then," she said, "you must go in* 
disguise to the court of Arthur. You 
must hire yourself out as ^ kitchen boy. 
You shall wash the pots and pans for a 
whole year and tell no one that you are 
the son of a queen." 

Queen Bellicent was sure that Gareth 
would not wish to make such a promise. 
He was silent a long, long time. He had 
hoped to take part at once with the 
Knights of the Round Table in great 
deeds. At last he said : 

' ' I may be a kitchen boy and still be 
noble in heart and mind. Besides, I can 
look on at the tournaments. I shall see 
King Arthur and Sir Lancelot and Sir 
Kay. Yes, mother, I will go." 

Queen Bellicent was very sad. All 
the days before Gareth' s departure her 
eyes followed him until he felt that he 
could not bear to see her grieve longer. 

aim l^g iMiQfytfi ^ 77 

So in the middle of the night he rose ^^• 
quietly and woke two of his faithful ofCareth 
servants. They dressed themselves like 
plowmen and started towards Camelot. 

It was Easter time and the young grass 
wais a bright green. The birds were be- 
ginning their chirping, although it was 
not yet light. As the dawn came, they 
saw the early morning mist sweeping 
over the mountain and forest near Ar- 
thur s city of Camelot. Sometimes the 
mist drew away add showed in the dis- 
tance the towers gleaming like silver. 

One of the servants said: 

"Let us go no farther, my lord Gareth. 
I am afraid. That is a fairy city." 

The second said: 

'* Yes, lord, let us turn back. I have 
heard that Arthur is not the real king, 
but a changeling brought from fairyland 
in a great wave all flame. He has done 
all his deeds with the help of Merlin's 

The first one spoke again: 

"Lord Gareth, that is no real city. 
It is a vision." 

But Geireth laughed and said: 

78 ^ Mng artl^ur 

TAe ' 'Arthur is real flesh and blood, a brave 

Coming ' 

ofGareth man, and a just king. Gome with me 
to the gate of his city, and do not be 

When they reached the gate of the 
city, they stared in amazement. It was 
made of silver and mother-of-pearl. In 
the center was carved the figure of the 
Lady of the Lake, with her arms out- 
stretched in the form of a cross. In one 
hand she held a sword, and in the other 
a censer. On both sides of her figure was 
carved the story of the wars of King Ar- 
thur. Above all were the figures of the 
three queens who were to help Arthur in 
time of need. 

The three looked till their eyes were 
dazzled. Then they heard a peal of music, 
and the gate slowly opened. An old man 
with a long gray beard came out to greet 
them, and returning led them up past the 
gardens and groves and roofs and towers 
of Camelot to Arthur's great palace on 
the summit of the hill. 

Gareth hardly thought of the splendors 
of the palace. He approached the arched 
doorway of the Assembly Hall, thinking 

ann l^ig ^nigW ^ 79 

only as his heart beat quickly, that at ^^^^.^ 
last he was to see the good King Arthur. ofCareth 
Even before he entered he heard the voice * 
of the king. For it was one of the days 
when Arthur was giving judgment to his 

The king sat on a throne made of gold 
and ivory and ebony. On its arms and 
back were carved great dragons. Arthur 
wore a gold crown which was not brighter 
than his own beautiful hair and beard. 
His blue eyes were as calm and clear 
as the sky in summer time. His trusty 
knights stood about him on each side of 
the throne. The tallest of these, who had 
a worn, browned face, and piercing dark 
eyes, under frowning brows, must be, 
Gareth knew, the famous knight, Sir 

As Gareth entered, a widow came for- 
ward and cried to Arthur : 

''Hear me, oh, King! Your father. 
King Uther, took away a field from my 
husband, who is now dead. The king 
promised us gold, but he gave us no gold, 
nor would he return our field.'* 

Then Arthur said : 

8o ^ Mm ^ttti^ttt? 

com^n^ ''Which would you rather have, the 
ofGaretk gold ot the field?'' 

The woman wept, saying : 

''Oh, King, my dead husband loved 
the field. Give it back to me/' 

''You shall have your field again,'' said 
Arthur, ' ' and besides I will give you three 
times the amount of gold it is worth to 
pay you for the years King Uther had 

Gareth thought that Arthur was indeed 
a just king. And while this was passing 
through his mind, another widow came 
forward and cried : 

" Hear me, oh, King ! Heretofore you 
have been my enemy. You killed my 
husband with your own hands. It is 
hard for me to ask justice or favor of you. 
Yet I must. My husband's brother took 
my son and had him slain, and has now 
stolen his land. So I ask you for a knight 
who will do battle and get my son's land 
for me, and revenge me for his death." 

Then a good knight stepped forward 
and said : 

' ' Sir King, I am her kinsman. Let me 
do battle for her and right her wrongs." 

But Sir Kay. Arthur s foster brother, Jl^ . 

said : ofGaretk 

**Lord Arthur, do not help a woman 
who has called you her enemy in your 
own hall." 

**Sir Kay," replied Arthur, **I am here 
to help all those who need help in my 
land. This woman loved her lord, and 
I killed him because he rebelled against 
me. Let her kinsman go and do battle 
against the man who has wronged her. 
Bring him here, and I will judge him. 
If he is guilty he shall suffer." 

While Gareth was still listening to the 
king s words, a messenger entered from 
Mark, the king of Cornwall. He carried 
a wonderful gold cloth which he laid at 
Arthur s feet, saying : 

'*My lord. King Mark sends you this 
as a sign that he is your true friend." 

But Arthur said : 

''Take back the cloth. When I fight 
with kings who are worthy men, after I 
have conquered them I give them back 
their lands, and make them my subject- 
kings and Knights of the Round Table. 
But Mark is not fit to be a king. He 

82 ^ Ifedtg artl^ur 

^ ^^ is cruel and false. I will not call him 

Coming . 

ofGareth friend. 

The messenger stepped back in alarm. 
Arthur said to him kindly : 

*'It is not your fault that Mark is 
unworthy. Stay in this city until you 
are refreshed and then go back home in 

While the king judged other cases, 
Gareth looked around the great hall. 
Underneath the fourteen windows he saw 
three rows of stone shields, and under 
each shield was the name of a knight. 
If a knight had done one great deed, there 
was carving on his shield ; if he had done 
two or more, there were gold markings. 
If he had done none, the shield was blank. 
Gareth saw that Sir Lancelot's shield 
and Sir Kay's glittered with gold. He 
looked for the shields of his brothers. Sir 
Gawain and Sir Modred. Sir Gawain's 
was marked with gold, but Sir Modred's 
was blank. 

Meanwhile, Arthur had judged all the 
cases. Then Gareth came forward tim- 
idly and said : 

' * Lord King, you see my poor clothes ; 

and l^g ^faxiqM ^ 83 

give me leave to serve for twelve months ?*^ . 


in your kitchen without telling my name. o/Garetk 
After that I will fight." 

"You are a fair youth," Arthur re- 
plied, "and you deserve a better gift. 
However, since this is all you ask, I will 
put you imder the care of Sir Kay, who is 
master of the kitchen." 

Sir Kay looked at Gareth with scorn. 

"This youth has come from some 
place where he did not get enough to 
eat," he said, "and so he thi^s of noth- 
ing but food. Yet if he wants food, he 
shall have it, provided he does his work 

Sir Lancelot, who stood near by, said: 

"Sir Kay, you understand dogs and 
horses well, but not men. Look at this 
youth's face ; see his broad forehead and 
honest eyes, and beautiful hands. I be- 
lieve he is of noble birth, and you should 
treat him well." 

' ' Perhaps he is a traitor," Sir Kay said. 
"Perhaps he will poison King Arthur's 
food. Yet I believe he is too stupid to be 
a traitor. If he were not stupid, or if he 
were noble, he would have asked for a 

84 -^ ifefhg artl^ur 

coi^n^ different gift. He would have asked for 
ofGareth a hoise and armor. Let him go to my 

So Gareth went to the kitchen. And 
there he worked faithfully at hard tasks, 
such as cutting wood and drawing water. 
Sir Lancelot spoke to him kindly when- 
ever he passed him, but Sir Kay was 
always very strict and severe. Sometimes 
Gareth grew discouraged and wished his 
mother had not exacted such a promise of 

Whenever there was a tournament he 
was happy. He liked to watch the horses 
prancing, and the brave knights riding, 
with the sun shining on their helmets and 
lances. And he would say to himself: 

'* Only wait till the twelve months have 
passed, and then I shall ask King Arthur 
to let me do some brave deed. Perhaps 
some one will come to the hall and demand 
to have a wrong righted. Then I shall beg 
the king to let me do that act of justice/' 

Such thoughts kept him cheerful. And 
indeed, before many weeks, his chance 
came for doing a great deed. 

anp 1^(0 feirtfil^tggp 




ARETH served in 
the kitchen of the 
king only one month, for his mother 
became sorry for the promise she had 
asked of him, and sent armor for him 
to Arthur s Court, with a letter to the 
king telling who the youth was. With 
great joy Gareth then went to Arthur and 

''My lord, I can fight as well as my 
brother Gawain. At home we have 
proved it. Then make me a knight, — in 
secret, for I do not want the other knights 
to know my name. Make me a knight, 
and give me permission to right the first 
wrong that we hear of.'' 

The king said gravely: 

"You know all that my knights must 



The ' ' Yes, my lord Arthur. I am willing 

SirGareth tO promisC all/' 

Zr«^//^ ' * I will make you my knight in secret, 
since you wish it,'* Arthur said, ** except 
that I must tell Sir Lancelot. He is my 
dearest knight, and I keep no secrets 
from him.'* 

Gareth said that he should be glad to 
have Sir Lancelot know. Accordingly the 
king spoke to Sir Lancelot about Gareth. 

'*I have promised him that he may 
right the first wrong we hear of,'' said 
Arthur, '*but as he has not yet proved 
what he can do, I want you to take a 
horse and follow him when he sets forth. 
Cover up the great lions on your shield 
so that he will not know who you are." 
Sir Lancelot agreed. Then Gareth was 
secretly made a knight. 

That same day a beautiful young dam- 
sel came into Arthur's hall. She had 
cheeks as pink as apple blossoms, and 
very sharp eyes. 

*'Who are you, damsel?" asked the 
king, *'and what do you need?" 

'* My name is Lynette," she said, *'and 
I am of noble blood. I need a knight to 

anP pg HxniQfyt^^ 87 

fight for my sister Lyonors, a lady, also £^^ . 
noble, rich, and most beautiful." sirCareth 

' ' Why must she have a knight ?" ques- Tynette 
tioned Arthur. 

' ' My lord King, she lives in Castle Per- 
ilous. Around this castle a river circles 
three times, and there are three passing- 
places, one over each circle of the river. 
Three knights, who are brothers, keep a 
constant guard over these passing-places. 
A fourth knight, also a brother, clad in 
black armor, stands guard in front of my 
sister s castle. We have never seen this 
knight's face or heard his voice, but his 
brothers tell us he is the most powerful 
and daring knight in the world. All these 
four keep my sister a prisoner." 

''And why?" 

' ' Because they want her to marry one 
of them so that they can have her great 
wealth. She refuses, but they say that 
they will have their way. In the mean- 
time, they demand that you send^ Sir 
Lancelot to fight with them. They hope 
to overthrow Sir Lancelot, thus proving 
themselves the greatest warriors in the 
land. But I believe that Sir Lancelot 

88 ^ !fe(ttg ^mm 

s^or^1?f ^^^Id overthrow them; therefore, I have 
Sir Carina come fot him/* 
Lyne/u Aithut remembered his promise to Sir 
Gareth, and did not speak of Sir Lance- 
lot, but asked: 

''Tell me what these four knights, 
your enemies, are like/' 

''The three I have talked to are vain 
and foolish knights, my lord,'' answered 
the damsel. "They have no law, and 
they acknowledge no king. Yet they are 
very strong, and therefore am I come for 
Sir Lancelot." 

Then Sir Gareth rose up, crying: 

"Sir King, give me this adventure." 

At this. Sir Kay started up in anger, 
but Gareth continued : 

"My King, you know that I am but 
your kitchen boy, yet I have grown so 
strong on your meat and drink that' I can 
overthrow an hundred such knights." 

The king looked at him a moment, and 

"Go, then." 

At this all the knights were amazed. 
The damsel's face flushed with anger. 

"Shame, King !" she cried. "I asked 

you for your chief knight, and you give ^^ , 
me a kitchen boy ! " sir carfth 

Then, before any one could prevent, Lynette 
she ran from the hall, mounted her horse, 
and rode out of the city gate. Gareth 
followed, and at the doorway found a 
noble war horse which the king had 
ordered to be given him. Near by were 
the two faithful servants who had fol- 
lowed him from his mother s home. They 
held his armor. Gareth put it on, seized 
his lance and shield, jumped upon his 
horse, and rode off joyfully. 

Sir Kay, who was watching, said to 
Sir Lancelot: 

'' Why does the king send my kitchen 
lad to fight ? I will go after the boy and 
put him to his pots and pans again." 

"Sir Kay, do not attempt to do that," 
said Sir Lancelot. '* Remember that the 
king commanded him to go." 

But Sir Kay leaped on his horse and 
followed Gareth. 

Meanwhile, Sir Gareth overtook the 
damsel and said: 

''Lady, I am to right your wrong. 
Lead and I follow." 

90 ^ jfeing Qitt^uv 

story^f But she cried: 
sirGareth **Go back ! I smell kitchen grease 
Lynette when you are near. Go back! your mas- 
ter has come for you/' 

Gareth looked behind and saw that 
Sir Kay was riding up to him. When 
Sir Kay was within hearing distance, he 
shouted : 

''Come back with me to the kitchen/' 

''I will not/' said Gareth. 

Then Sir Kay rode fiercely at the 
youth. Gareth, however, struck him from 
his horse, and then turned to the damsel, 

''Lead on; I follow." 

She rode for a long time in silence, 
with Gareth a few paces behind her. At 
last she stopped and said : 

"You have overthrown your master, 
you kitchen boy, but I do not like you 
any better for it. I still smell the kitchen 

Sir Gareth said, very gently : 

"You may speak to me as you will, 
but I shall not leave you till I have righted 
your wrong." 

"Ah! "she said, scornfully, "you talk 

like a noble knight, but you are not one," ^'^ , 
and she agcdn galloped in front of him. sir Gar ^th 

Presently, as they passed a thick wood, %n€Ue 
a man broke out of it and spoke to them: 

**Help! help! they are drowning my 

'•Follow! I lead!" shouted Gareth to 
the damsel, and rushed into the wood. 
There he found six men trying to drown 
a seventh. Gareth attacked them with 
such vigor that they fled. When the 
rescued man had recovered, he thanked 
Gareth warmly. 

"I am the lord of the castle yonder," 
he said, "and these are my enemies. 
You came in time." 

Then he begged Gareth and the lady 
to stay all night in his castle. They 
agreed, and he led the way. He took 
them into his large hall and was about to 
seat them side by side at a dining table. 
But the damsel said in scorn: 

"This is a kitchen boy, and I will not 
sit by him." 

The lord looked surprised. He took ;, 

Gareth to another table and sat beside 
him. After they had eaten, he S£iid: 

92 ^ Mm ^tt^uv 

sto^^of ''You may be a kitchen boy, or the 
sirGareth daiHsel may be out of her mind, but 
Lynetie whichevet is the case, you are a good 
fighter and you have saved my life/* 

The next morning Gareth and the 
damsel set forth. They rode for a while 
in silence, and then she said: 

' ' Sir Kitchen Boy, although you are so 
low, I should like to save your life. Soon 
we are coming to one who will overthrow 
you; so turn back.'' 

But Gareth refused. In a little while 
they came to the first circle of the river. 
The passing-place was spanned by a 
bridge. On the farther side of the bridge 
was a beautiful pavilion, draped in silk 
of gold and crimson colors. In front of 
it passed a warrior without armor. 

* ' Damsel, '' he cried, ' ' is this the knight 
you have brought from Arthur's Court to 
fight with me?" 

''Ah!" she said, ''the king scorns you 
so much that he has sent a kitchen boy 
to fight with you. Take care that he 
does not fall on you before you are 
armed, for he is a knave." 

The warrior went inside his tent for 

aim i^ itirifi^tg s 

at him 


94 ^ Mm ^ttt^UV 

^, '^^^^ his armor, and the damsel said to 

story of * 

SirGareth Gareth: 

Lynette ' ' Are y ou afraid ? " 

'* Damsel/' he said, '*I am not afraid. 
I would rather fight twenty times than 
hear you speak so unkindly of me. Yet 
your cruel words have put strength into 
my arm. I shall fight well.'' 

Then the knight came forth all in 
armor, and he said : 

'* Youth, you are a kitchen boy. Go 
back to your king; you are not fit to fight 
with me." 

Gareth rode at him fiercely, saying: 

*'I am of nobler blood than you." 

He fought so well that soon his enemy 
was overcome. Then Gareth said: 

'*Go to Arthur's Court and say that 
his kitchen boy sent you." 

When the knight had departed, Gareth 
rode on, with the damsel in advance. 
After a little while she stopped her horse, 
and when he had caught up with her, she 

''Youth, I do not smell the kitchen 
grease so much as I did. ' 

Then she galloped oflf, laughing over 


attP 1^18 iuiigfytii ^ 95 

her shoulder, while Gareth followed her, fj^ . 

* ' S/arjr of 

a little more slowly. sir Caret k 

When they reached the second circle Lynette 
of the river, the damsel said: 

" Here is the brother of the knight you 
overthrew. He is stronger than the first. 
You had better go home, kitchen boy." 

Gareth answered nothing. Out of the 
tent by the bridge which crossed the 
second circle of water, came a knight, 
clad in armor which glowed like the sun. 
Lynette shouted to him: 

''I bring a kitchen boy who has over- 
thrown your brother." 

'*Ah!" shouted the knight, and rode 
fiercely at Sir Gareth. 

The two fought for a long time. The 
warrior was strong, but Sir Gareth was 
stronger, and at last overthrew him, and 
sent him back to Arthur's Court. 

The damsel Lynette had ridden far 
ahead of him. When he came near her, 
she said: 

•'The knight's horse slipped, and that 
is why you overcame him. And now 
are you ready to fight with the third 
knight, for there he stands?" 

^ 96 ^ Mxfi^ arttfflt 

^/o/^of ^^ ^^^ third and innermost circle of 
^/^ Gareih the ri ver stood the third knight, clad not in 
LynJtte armot, but in hardened skins. Sir Gareth 
saw that he was more powerful than his 
brothers. The two at once began to fight 
on the bridge, but Sir Gareth' s sword 
could not pierce the hard skins. Again 
and again he tried and failed. He grew 
tired, and began to fear that he should be 
conquered. But all at once, when his 
strokes were becoming feeble, Lynette 
cried out to him: 

'*Well done, good knight! You are 
no kitchen boy, but a brave lord. Strike 
for me ! Do not lose. You are worthy 
to be a Knight of the Round Table. '* 

When Sir Gareth heard this, he was 
so encouraged that he made a final great 
effort and threw his enemy over the bridge 
into the water. Then he turned to Lynette, 

'*Lead; I follow." 

But Lynette, proud now of her valiant 
escort, and humbled and ashamed at her 
misjudging of him, said: 

'*No, we shall ride side by side. 
I am very sorry I called you a kitchen 

ant> tig umi^W ^ 97 

boy, for I know that you are a noble -^f^^^f 

knight. ' ' ^^'^ Caret h 

They rode happily side by side till Lynette 
dusk, when they came in sight of Castle 
Perilous. Just as they were about to 
cross the moat, a knight overtook them. 
It was Sir Lancelot, who had been delayed 
because he had stopped to help Sir Kay 
after Sir Gareth had thrown him from 
his horse. 

The great knight, as he rode up to 
the two in the twilight, seeing only the 
shields which Sir Gareth had taken from 
the three knights, thought the young man 
was an enemy, and attacked him. Sir 
Lancelot was so strong that he soon over- 
came the youth. 

As he fell, Lynette cried out in shame 
and sorrow, and Sir Gareth said : 

**0h, lam thrown." 

Sir Lancelot knew Sir Gareth's voice, 
and raised him up, saying: 

''I am Lancelot, and I am sorry to 
have overthrown you, my friend.'' 

Sir Gareth said that it was no dishonor 
to be beaten by Sir Lancelot. Then the 
three rode into the castle, and there they 

98 ^ Mm ^tti^nv 

I sto^^of ^^* ^^ fourth knight, who was all cov- 

Sir Caret h eted with black armor. 
1 Lynette Sir Lancelot wished to fight with him, 
but Sir Gareth would not permit it. 

' ' This must be my adventure, *' he said. 
Sir Gareth rode at the knight, expect- 
ing to meet a very strong man, but he 
easily unhorsed him. His enemy cried: 
' 'Oh spare my life ; I am not a knight. '* 
; Then he took oflf his helmet and showed 

• the face of a young boy.» 

' ' My three brothers made me pretend 

to be a fierce knight,*' he explained. 

; "They thought it would make people 

more afraid if they believed we were 

four strong knights.'* 

Sir Lancelot and Sir Gareth laughed 
heartily, and so did Lynette. They took 
the boy into the castle, where Lynette's 
sister, Lyonors, who was now freed from 
her money -loving captors, greeted them 
with much joy. She put before them a 
great feast, and this time Sir Gareth and 
Lynette sat side by side. Afterwards a 
marriage was made between them, and 
they went to live with King Arthur in 

anP l^tg MniQfyt^ ^ 

AMONG Arthur's Knights of the Round 
L Table was one who was a mixture 
of good and bad, as indeed most people 
are. His name was Sir Ivaine; brave, 
kind-hearted, and merry ; but at the same 
time fickle, sometimes forgetful of his 
promises, and inclined to make light of 
serious things. 

One night, in the early spring, the 
knights and ladies of Arthur's Court were 
sitting in the dining-hall. The king and 
Guinevere had withdrawn, but were ex- 
pected to return. Supper had been served, 
and the last course, consisting of pome- 
granate seeds and dates, had just been 
carried oflf. A fire had been built in the 
deep hearth, and the four bronze pillars 

in front were lighted by the flames. Four 

[991 _ 


loo ^ IfettTg QitttiUV 

ivJte little pages in blue and white velvet kit- 
tles sat on stools watching the fire, and 
perhaps dreaming of the days when they, 
too, should be warriors and have adven- 

Sir Ivaine was telling of his experience 
with the Black Knight. 

''It was when I was very young,'' he 
said; ''indeed, I had -just been made a 
knight. Some one told me of the wicked 
Black Knight who lived, and still lives, in 
a wood a long way from here. Knowing 
that he did much evil, I determined to 
kill him. I rode to the wood where he 
lived, and in which I found a marble plat- 
form. In the middle of it was a sunken 
space holding a fountain. I walked to 
this, and following the directions of some 
writing which was on the stone, picked 
up a cup that lay at hand, and filling it 
with water, poured it into the fountain. 

"Then a great storm of wind and rain 
arose, and when it was at its height the 
Black Knight rode up and began to attack 
me. We fought for a little while, but 
he easily overthrew me. Thinking me 
dead, he rode back, leaving me on the 

ground. But after a time I was able to j^^^-^ 
mount my horse, and went back to my 
mother s castle." 

At this moment the king and the 
queen entered, unperceived by any one 
except Sir Ivaine. The young man, who 
was always polite, sprang to his feet; 
then the other knights rose. Sir Kay, 
who was not always sweet-tempered, said 
to Sir Ivaine: 

''We all know that you are very po- 
lite, but you have more courtesy than 

At that Sir Ivaine said: 

' ' I was almost a boy when the Black 
Knight overthrew me, but I could con- 
quer him now." 

" It is very easy to say that after you 
have eaten, " said Sir Kay. * ' Almost any 
knight feels brave and self-satisfied when 
he has had a good supper of venison." 

The king asked what the conversation 
was about, and Sir Ivaine repeated the 
story of his adventure, adding: 

''And, Sir King, I crave your permis- 
sion to set forth to-morrow to slay this 
Black Knight who is a pest in the land." 

, ^/^ **I have heard of this man/' said the 

Ivatne ' 

king, ''and have often thought of send- 
ing some one to punish him. But he 
lives far away, and it has been necessary 
heretofore to right first the wrongs near- 
est home. Yet now his evil deeds and 
persecutions must cease. To-morrow a 
company of us will set forth and conquer 
him and all his people." 

The king named some half-dozen of 
his knights, Sir Ivaine among them, who 
were to undertake this adventure. 

Sir Ivaine was displeased ; he thought 
that the adventure should be his alone. 
So he rose. in the middle of the night and 
stole away unattended, determined to 
go in advance of the others and kill the 
Black Knight. It did not occur to him 
that in proving himself brave, he was 
also proving himself disobedient. 

He rode forth in the darkness, hum- 
ming merrily to himself. At daybreak 
he reached a valley, and as he went 
through it, saw a great serpent fight- 
ing with a lion. Sir Ivaine stopped to 
watch this curious combat. At first the 
two fighters seemed evenly matched, but 

and f^n ftnig^tg ^ 103 

soon the huge serpent wrapped all its ;^^^ 
folds about the lion and began squeezing 
it to death. When Sir Ivaine saw this, 
he drew his sword and killed the serpent. 

When the lion was free, it bound^up 
to Sir Ivaine, and he was afraid that it 
meant to kill him; but it fawned at his 
feet like a spanieL He stroked it, and 
put his arms about its neck. When he 
mounted his horse, the beast followed 
him, refusing to go away. Then Sir 
Ivaine made up his mind that they were 
to be companions. 

For many days the two kept close 
together, and at night Sir Ivaine would 
go to sleep with his head on the lion's 
neck. One day, as they came to a square 
castle set in a meadow, some people who 
stood on the castle walls began to shoot 
arrows at the lion, but Sir Ivaine stopped 
them, telling them that the animal was 

Then they told him that it was their 
rule that no one should pass by that cas- 
tle without doing battle with their lord. 
Sir Ivaine told them that he was quite 
willing to obey their rule; so they opened 

I04 -^ i^dig gittl^tty 

j^^f^^ the castle gate. They said he must make 
his lion stay outside, but Sir Ivaine re- 
fused to do this. He promised, however, 
to make the lion lie down quietly; then 
the two were allowed to enter. 

The courtyard was a large paved place, 
in which there were a score of armed 
men. Presently the lord of the castle 
came forward. This lord was much larger 
than Sir Ivaine, and the lion, on seeing 
him, began to lash its tail. But Sir Ivaine 
ordered it to be still, and it at once obeyed. 

Then Sir Ivaine and the knight battled 
together. The knight was powerful, but 
Sir Ivaine was very agile and skillful. 
He was not able to strike so hard as could 
his enemy, but he was better able to avoid 
blows. Therefore it was not long before 
he got the advantage and overthrew the 

When this happened, the lord called 
for help, and ordered his armed men to 
kill Sir Ivaine. The whole twenty began 
to obey this treacherous order, but just 
as they were about to fall upon Sir Ivaine, 
the lion bounded among them, roaring 
savagely. With a few strokes of its pow- 

attti "m fetrfg^tgs 

into th£ 

uio6 ^ ixim ^Vt^jUV 

ivatne ^^^^^ paws^it disabled the men. Sir Ivaine 
^ told the lord of the castle that he must 

ride to Camelot and give himself up to 
Arthur to be judged for his treachery. 
Then Sir Ivaine rode away from the cas- 
tle ; and now that the lion had saved his 
life, he became very fond of the animal. 

After many days of travel, Sir Ivaine 
reached the forest in the midst of which 
was the castle of the Black Knight. He 
rode to the platform of stone, dismounted 
and poured water into the fountain. As 
before, a storm arose, .and at its height 
the Black Knight appeared. 

He recognized the armor of Sir Ivaine, 
and said: 

''Aha! I see I did not kill you before, 
but you shall not escape me this time." 

''The best man shall win,'* said Sir 
Ivaine, cheerfully. 

Then the two began a great combat. 
Their swords clashed so that the noise of 
the fountain was drowned; they fought 
so eagerly that they were not even aware 
of the storm. It was not long before the 
Black Knight began to grow weak from 
the many powerful and death-dealing 

strokes from Sir Ivaine's sword. At last. ;^^ 
seeing that he was mortally wounded, the 
Black Knight turned his horse and gal- 
loped in the direction of his castle. 

Ordering the lion to stay where it had 
lain during the combat, Sir Ivaine fol- 
lowed. But he could not quite catch up 
with the Black Knight, although gaining 
on him inch by inch. By the time the 
castle moat was reached. Sir Ivaine was 
only five feet behind. The horses thun- 
dered one after the other over the bridge. 
The Black Knight rode under the portcul- 
lis, or sharp iron gate, which was raised. 
The instant he was inside, the portcullis 
fell, in order to shut out Sir Ivaine. . 

But Sir Ivaine had adready passed be- 
neath it, and as it fell his horse was cut 
in two. Even the long plume in Sir 
Ivaine's helmet was shorn off, and lay out- 
side the gate. 

Sir Ivaine sprang to his feet and drew 
his sword to renew his attack upon the 
Black Knight, but he was already dead, 
and lay across his panting horse's neck. 

Then Sir Ivdine realized what his reck- 
lessness had cost him. There he was. 

io8 ^ Mng arti^ttr 

. ^/^ alone in a strange castle, the lord of which 
he had killed. Soon the people of the 
castle would come and capture him, for 
he could not escape, since the portcullis 
was down. 

He ran into the castle, and up the 
stairs leading to the turret. He was fast 
growing weak from the wounds he had re- 
ceived, and his armor was heavy. More- 
over, in spite of his care, it clashed at 
every step, and he was afraid some one 
would soon hear him. He had all but 
reached the top of the stairs when the 
door of the turret room opened, and a 
little maiden looked down upon him. He 
begged her not to cry out, and telling her 
who he was and what he had done, asked 
her to hide him. 

**I will," she said, ** because you are 
brave and you are wounded, and because 
you have killed that wicked tyrant, the 
Black Knight. He does not own this 
castle at all; it belongs to a beautiful 
lady, his cousin, who is my mistress. He 
keeps her here a prisoner because she 
will not marry him.*' 

Then the little maiden led him into 

and l^g ftirffil^tg g;- 109 


the turret room. She concealed his armor f^^^ 
in a hole in the side of the wall, and told 
him to hide himself between the two mat- 
tresses of the bed. Before he had time to 
do so, however, they heard a great noise 
in the courtyard, and looking down, saw 
that the body of the Black Knight had 
been discovered. Near it stood a beauti- 
ful lad3% more beautiful than any Sir 
Ivaine had ever seen, except Queen Guin- 
evere. She was dark like the queen, and 
her eyes were as bright as stars. He 
would have looked at her a long time, 
but the little maiden begged him to hide 
without delay. 

' ' Quick ! " she cried. ' ' The men have 
seen that there is the front part of a horse 
inside the gate, and know that the person 
who has killed our lord must be here. 
Even now they have begun the search, 
for they all love the Black Knight, al- 
though my mistress does not, and they 
will hang you if they find you." 

So Sir Ivaine crept between the mat- 
tresses, and the little maiden hurried 
down the stairs and went to her beauti- 
ful mistress. Presently Sir Ivaine heard 


^^^^^^ men tramping up the turret steps. They 
often stopped, trying all the doors they 
came to, and at last entered the room in 
which he lay. One of them, peering into 
the hole in the wall where his armor was, 

'*Here is armor.'* 

But another replied : 

* ' That is some that once was used by 
our master; there is no need to drag it 
into the light.'' 

Then they searched among all the fur- 
nishings of the room, but found no one. 
At last, as they were leaving, one of the 
men thrust his sword twice through the 
mattress. The second thrust cut deeply 
into Sir Ivaine's arm; but as the knight 
was brave, he did not utter a cry. 

When the men had gone, he crept out, 
and found that the cut in his arm and 
his other wounds were bleeding badly. 
Just then the little maiden came in with 
food. She cried out in alarm when she 
saw. the blood, and quickly tore a piece of 
linen from her robe for bandages. When 
all the wounds had been carefully at- 
tended to, she gave him a plentiful supper 




and promised to take care of him until j^^^-^^ 
there was a good opportunity for him to 

She visited him every morning, and 
told him the day's news in the castle. He 
learned that a lion kept roaring about the 
walls, and that the bowmen had tried to 
kill it, butcould not. Sir Ivaine was sure 
that it was his lion, and longed to have 
it, but knew that this was impossible. 
And she told him how the people of the 
castle had been angry at their lady be- 
cause she would not marry the Black 
Knight; but now that he was dead, ac- 
knowledged her as mistress and obeyed 
her in everything. The little maiden said 
she thought that if the lady were told that 
Sir Ivaine was hidden she would probably 
see that he had a safe conduct out of the 

**I want never to leave this castle,'* 
said Sir Ivaine; **for I love your lady.'* 

This pleased the little maiden, for she 
had learned to respect Sir Ivaine. So she 
went to the lady of the castle and told 
her all about the stranger. The lady had 
Sir Ivaine moved to a rich apartment 


112 <^ %ixv^ %xX}i\\xt 

, ^/^ where she could visit him often and help 
the little maid in her care of him. She 
did not tell her people, however, that this 
stranger knight had' killed their lord. 

As Sir Ivaine recovered, he soon found 
courage to tell her how beautiful she was, 
and that he loved her more than anything 
in the world. He said that if .she would 
marry him, he would stay with her for- 
ever, and never seek for more adventures. 
All he asked was that she would let in 
his lion, which still continued to roar out- 
side the castle walls. When the lady 
heard the story of the lion, it seemed to 
her that if Sir Ivaine were so kind to 
an animal, he would, probably be much 
kinder to her. 

So she said that she would marry him. 
The people of the castle saw and liked 
him, and agreed to obey him as their lord. 
When they were told that the lion they 
had tried to kill belonged to him and must 
be admitted to the castle, they showed 
some fear. Sir Ivaine told them that 
there was no need of this, for the beast 
was very gentle, and was making noise 
only because of its desire for its master. 


He went outside the castle walls and f"^ . 
called. Soon there was heard a loud 
roaring ; a big yellow body bounded out 
of the forest, and the lion came leaping 
to its master s feet. It frisked about him, 
and rubbed its head on his arm, just as a 
favorite dog might do. When the people 
saw how tame it was, they were no longer 

Sir Ivaine and the beautiful lady were 
soon married, and for a long time every 
one was very happy. Sir Ivaine sent a 
letter to King Arthur telling the result 
of his adventure. Soon the messenger 
returned bearing rich gifts from the king 
and Guinevere, and an invitation to come 
to Camelot whenever they wished to. 
The lady, however, persuaded Sir Ivaine 
to promise to remain with her in her 

One day a party of the Knights of the 
Round Table rode into the courtyard. 
They were going on a great adventure, 
and stopped by the way to see how Sir 
Ivaine and his beautiful wife fared. 
When Sir Ivaine saw them, all his old- 
time love of fighting came back, and he 

114 ^ Mm ^vtiiuv 

/vJne ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ l^^y ^^d begged her to let 
him go with the knights. 

''Ah, my Ivaine," she said, ''you told 
me that you would never leave me:'* 

"A knight ought to seek adventures,'* 
he said. "And I will return to you." 

She paused for a while and then said : 

"I will let you go if you will promise 
to come back in a year and a day ; that 
is, next Whitsuntide.'* 

He gladly promised, and she said: 

"If you break this promise, I will 
never see you again." 

But Sir Ivaine was sure he would not 
break the promise, because he loved her 
too much for that. 

So oflF he rode with the knights, fol- 
lowed by his faithful lion. The lady and 
the little maiden waved farewells to Sir 
Ivaine from the tower until they could 
no longer see him ; then they again took 
up the life they had lived before he came 
to the castle. 

Sir Ivaine rode with the knights for 
many months, and had many adventures. 
At last, just as the year was drawing to 
a close, he started homeward. On the 


ant> l^ifi 'SmiQfyt^ &^ 115 

way, however, he stopped at Arthur s j!^^^-^^ 
Court to pay his respects to the king and 
the queen. They both remembered him 
and greeted him kindly. 

A great tournament was being held at 
that time in Camelot, and the king asked 
Sir Ivaine if he would like to take part. 
Sir Ivaine was pleased, for he loved the 
display of such combats. During the 
three days of the tournament he distin- 
guished himself greatly. 

On the evening of the third day, as 
the knights were sitting in the great hall 
of the Round Table, a little maiden en- 
tered. She went up to King Arthur and 
gave him a ring. 

"This ring," she said, "is one Sir 
Ivaine gave my lady. She returns it, 
and has vowed never to see him again be- 
cause he has broken his promise to her.'' 

Then, before any one could stop her, 
she left the hall, mounted her horse, and 
rode away. Sir Ivaine sprang to his feet, 
staring wildly. Whitsuntide had fallen 
on the first day of the tournament, his 
year and a day had more than passed, 
and he had forgotten his promise ! 


r" ii6 -^ i^(ng arti^ttt 

/z/^S^ He rushed from the hall and down the 
hill through the streets of Camelot, out 
of the city gate, and into the forest. He 
ran on and on until he fell exhausted. 
The next day he awoke in a fever, and 
, would have died but for his faithful lion. 

The poor animal tried to make Sir Ivaine 
rise, but seeing that he could not, dragged 
him to the edge of a brook, where he 
could drink when he was thirsty. The 
lion also brought him game. At first Sir 

■ Ivaine would not touch it, but finally 

■ began to eat it raw. 

After a time he became better, phys- 
ically, but his senses were gone. In his 
madness he wandered all through the 
woods, fighting with the trees and bushes. 
The lion always followed him, protect- 
ing him from other animals and from 

One day when the lion was absent 
finding food. Sir Ivaine lay asleep. A 
good hermit came up to him, and pitying 
his condition, lifted him in his arms and 
carried him to his hut. He bathed the 
poor knight, cut his hair, and put a robe 
upon him. He was laying him upon a 

bed when the lion came roaring to the f^^^-^^ 
door and dashed it open. 

When it saw the hermit tending its 
master, it fawned at his feet. After that 
Sir Ivaine spent much of his time in the 
hut. The lion supplied him with food, 
bringing meat to the hermit, who always 
divided it into four parts: three parts he 
gave to the lion, and one he cooked for 
Sir Ivaine and himself. 

Sometimes Sir Ivaine would run away 
from the hermit and wander for days in 
the forest. The lion took care of him, 
and always led him back to the hermit's 
hut. Once, however. Sir Ivaine set forth 
in the direction of his wife's castle. At 
night the lion tried to take him to the 
hut, but in vain. For days he wandered, 
always in the same direction, until at last 
he reached the wood where the stone 
platform was. He laid himself down 
upon it and slept. Soon a lady and a 
maid appeared. The lion sprang at them, 
but when it reached their feet, it licked 
the lady's hand, for she was its mistress. 

It took her robe in its teeth and pulled 
her gently to the spot where Sir Ivaine 

ii8 -^ feing atftl^ttr 

iva^ne ^^^^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^^ would Hot look at him, 
because she had not forgiven him for 
breaking his promise. But the little 
maiden said: 

''Dear mistress, look at him. The 
story which the knights of Arthur's Court 
told us about his madness must be true. 
If you will but look at his face you will 
see that it is the face of a man who has 
lost his senses.*' 

. Then the lady knelt beside him. When 
she saw his worn features and his tattered 
garments, she began to believe, that he 
really had lost his senses from grief. She 
' sent the little maiden to the castle for an 
ointment she had. It was so powerful 
that if it were rubbed over a person who 
was ill, it would cure him, no matter what 
his disease was. When the little maid 
brought it, the lady put it upon Sir Ivaine, 
but so gently as not to rouse him. 

After several hours. Sir Ivaine awoke. 
At first he hardly knew where he was, 
but soon he recollected all that had hap- 
pened, and seeing his lady near, begged 
her to forgive him. This she did, and 
they were reconciled. Sir Ivaine was 

sure that he would never again forget to ^^ . 
keep a promise. 

For some months they lived very hap- 
pily in the castle. Then they went to 
Camelot in order to be near to Arthur and 
the Knights of the Round Table. 

•^ Mm ^ttl^nv 


IN Arthur's Court there dwelt a poor 
knight named Balin, who had acci- 
dentally killed the cousin of King Arthur, 
and had been taken to the court of the 
king for trial. He had lived there almost 
as a prisoner for six months, until it was 
decided that he had not meant to do 
wrong. All his money was gone, and his 
clothes and armor were poor. He was 
sorry for this, but he was still more sorry 
that he was not doing brave deeds like 
the other knights. 

One day when he sat in the great hall 
at Camelot, looking at the shields which 

were carved or covered with gold, a 



am> i^ tttrfifttg ^ 121 

damsel entered who wore a rich mantle. ^^^^--* 
trimmed with fur. As Arthur and the 
knights lo*jked at her, she let it fall to 
the floor, and they saw that she wore a 
heavy sword. 

'" Damsel/" said Arthur, "why do you. 
a maiden, wear a sword?"' 

•*Alas!"" said the maiden. "I should 
be glad if I did not wear it. It is very 
heayv. and causes me pain. But J am 
forced to wear it until I meet a knight 
who can take it from me. ' 

"Surely many knights could do that, 
and gladly/' the lords said. 

*"Xo/' said the lady. "It seems that 
there is but one knight in all the world 
who is to take the sword. I heard that 
there were brave knights at the Court of 
King Rience. the enemy of King Arthur, 
and I went there. Yet no one could un- 
fasten the sword. Xow am I come here 
on the same errand. "* 

*" In truth, damsel/" said the king, '"you 
are right welcome. My knights shall tr\' 
to take \'our weapon." 

Then, at a sign from Arthur, a knight 
stepped forward. But, even though he 

sirBaiin exerted all his strength, the sword could 
not be unfastened. 

**Sir, you need not pull so hard/' said 
the damsel. * ' The one who is to take the 
sword will do so easily.'* 

All the knights tried except Sir Balin, 
who stood back because of his poor 
clothes. Yet he wanted very much to 
see if he was the chosen knight, and just 
as the damsel was going away, he said: 

''Damsel, will you let me try? I am 
poorly clothed, but my heart tells me 
that I may succeed.*' 

The damsel saw that he had a good 
face. But his clothes were so poor she 
doubted if he were really a knight. 

''I am afraid you will fail," she said. 

''Ah, maiden," he returned, "poor 
clothes are but the outside. Good deeds 
are just as worthy, whether done by a 
rich person or a poor one. Many a man 
who is badly clothed has real valor and 

' ' That is very true, " she said ; " so try, 
good sir." 

Then Sir Balin seized the hilt of the 
sword, and the weapon came away easily. 


ami i^ fenig^ ^ 1^3 

All the lords wondered, and the lady -^^-»^'* 

**You are a good knight, the best I 
have met. You shall do many brave 
deeds. And now, give me my sword 

•* Xo," said Sir Balin, **I shoidd like to 
keep this sword, for I have no other." 

**AIas!"said the maiden, '•J am sorry 
to hear these words, for now I must give 
you the sword." 

*' Surely he deserves it," said Arthur. 
** for it weighed heavily on you." 

*' Yes," she replied, *• but it is a misfor- 
tune for him to keep it. He shall slay with 
it the best friend he has in the world. It 
is going to prove his destruction." 

Sir Balin would not believe her. 

**I could not slay my best friend," he 
said. *" Besides, I am willing to meet 
whatever happens, and I wish to keep the 

Then the maiden departed in great 
sorrow, while Balin said to the king: 

" My lord, give me permission to leave 
your court." 

*'I do not like to lose jtju," said the 

sirBaiin king. ' ' Pcthaps you are angry because 
you were in prison so long. You must 
know that it takes time to find out who 
is innocent and who is guilty.'' 

**My lord," answered Sir Balin, ^'I 
know it is not wise to make a judgment 
hastily, and I do not blame you for keep- 
ing me in prison. I love you, and wish 
to leave your court that I may do some 
deed worthy of the Round Table.'* 

Then Arthur said that he might go. 
Soon a servant brought to Balin a fine 
horse and good armor which were the 
gifts of the king. Balin at once took 
leave of Arthur and the knights, and rode 
away, singing as he rode, for he was very 
happy. Sometimes he stopped to lift up 
his shield and admire it. It had a blue 
emblem upon it, and to Sir Balin's eyes 
its beauty was that of the sky, the soft 
blue of heaven. 

Sir Balin rode until he was tired. At 
last, from the crest of a hill, he saw a 
gloomy stone castle, and galloped towards 
it joyfully, hoping to rest there. 

At a turn of the road, he saw a cross 
with gold letters upon it. He stopped to 

V V 

anP f^^ fctrfgl^tj8 s;> 125 - -^ 

read the words, which were: "Let no -S/ir^''^/^ 
knight go to the castle, for great danger 
is there." 

"Oh," said Sir Balin, "I am used to 
danger. I fear nothing," and he went on. 

Presently an old man started up be- 
side the road. He had a long gray beard, 
and was dressed in a long gray robe that 
sparkled with little specks of frost. The 
old man said to Sir Balin: 

"Did you not read the letters on the 

"Yes," replied Sir Balin, "but I am 
not afraid." 

"Oh, Sir Balin, you of all men should 
fear to go to that castle," the old man said. 

"Why?" he asked in amazement. 
"Nevertheless, I shall go." 

"Sir Balin, Sir Balin!" cried the old 
man after him, "you are too self-willed. 
You will be very sorry for what you have 
done before you die." 

But Sir Balin rode on without fear, and 
soon reached the gate of the castle. A 
hundred beautiful ladies and many 
knights welcomed him. They took oflF 
his armor and put a rich crimson cloak 

126 ^ "tsiim 9ini9ut 

sirBaiin upon his shouldets. Then they led him 
into a banquet hall where there was mu- 
sic and dancing. They set food before 
him, and he ate, thankfully. He was 
very happy, feeling sure that he could 
rest here for many days. 

Just as he was thinking this, the lady 
who was mistress of the castle said : 

* ' Sir knight, it is the rule of this castle 
that every lord who comes here as a 
guest must fight. '' 

''That is a hard custom,'* said Sir 

''Yet you need fight but once,'' an- 
swered the lady. "We have here the 
knight who entered j ust before you came. ' ' 

' ' Alas! " said Sir Balin, ' ' I would rather 
not fight, for I wish to rest. Since such 
is the custom of the castle, however, I 
must do my part. Let some one bring 
my armor." 

A servant at once came up to him with 
a suit of black armor. 

' ' This is not my armor, " said Sir Balin. 
"My armor is not painted black. It is 
honest gray steel, decorated v/ith blue." 

" It is the custom of the castle to wear 


ann W fenigl^tg^ 127 

black, " they told him. ' ' This armor is as ^''>'^^^'« 
good as your own/' 

Sir Balin felt sad, he could hardly tell 
why ; and was very sorry that he had ever 
come to the castle. Putting on the armor, 
however, he went into the courtyard and 
mounted his horse. No sooner was he 
ready than another knight, clad all in 
black, entered the courtyard. 

The two knights rode together so 
fiercely that the shock threw them both 
oflF their horses in a swoon. After a time 
they recovered and began to fight on foot, 
pressing each other near the walls of the 

Sir Balin was fighting with the sword 
that he had taken from the damsel in 
King Arthur's Court. It was a strong 
sword, and whenever it struck, the armor 
of his opponent cracked. They fought 
till their breath failed, and then they 
rested. Each knew that never before 
had he dealt with such a strong enemy. 

Then they fought again, and gave each 
other seven deep wounds, the least of 
which would prove fatal. All the ground 
was red with blood, but Sir Baliix fought 


^ 128 ^ Mxi^ ^x^yxt 

sirBaiin on still, for the people of the castle were 
watching from the walls, and he wished 
to be thought a great warrior. So at last 
he used all his remaining strength and 
gave the other knight such a hard blow 
that he fell to the ground. Sir Balin 
knew that it was a death stroke. He felt 
that he, too, was about to die, and said: 

''Who are you? I never fought with 
such a strong knight before.'' 

The other answered faintly: 

''I am Sir Balan, the brother to the 
good knight Sir Balin. " 

Then Sir Balin cried out: 

''Alas, alas! that I should live to see 
this day!'' and he fell backward in a 

Sir Balan was dying, but he crawled 
on his hands and knees to where Sir 
Balin lay, and took off his helmet only to 
discover the face of his brother. Then 
he wept bitterly till Sir Balin recovered 
from his swoon. 

"Alas! "said Sir Balan, "if we had but 
worn our own armor we should have 
known each other. And now we must 
die; we have killed each other." 


till their 

I30 -^ feing ^Ittl^ttr 

Sir Balin was too full of remorse to 

*^A11 this is my fault," he said. ''As 
the old man on the road told me, I have 
been too self-willed. First, I would have 
the damsel's sword, although she told me 
that I should slay with it the best friend 
I had. That is you, Balan. And then I 
would enter this castle in spite of warn- 
ings. I deserve to die, but it is a hard 
punishment that I should have killed 
you, my brother.'' 

Soon some ladies came from the wall 
into the courtyard, and to them Sir Balin 

*' We are two dear brothers who have 
killed each other. I pray you, promise 
to bury us in the same grave.'.' 

The ladies wept as they made the 
promise. The two brothers put their 
arms about each other and waited for 
death. They hoped to die together, but 
Sir Balan died first. Soon after, when 
Sir Balin had also died, the ladies'buried 
them together, and put a stone above the 
grave, telling the sad story of their com- 
bat and death. 

ann W fetrigl^tg ^ 

ONE of the bravest knights in King 
Arthurs Court was Sir Geraint. 
Once he was in the forest with Queen 
Guinevere and one of her maidens, when 
a lady, a knight, and a dwarf rode by. 
The queen told the maiden to go to the 
dwarf and ask who his master was. 

As the maiden approached them, she 
saw that the knight had a very proud 
face. She asked the dwarf his master's 
name,. but he said, roughly: 

''I do not know." 

'*If you do not know,'' answered the 
maiden, *'I will ask him myself." 

She started to ride up to the knight, 
but the dwarf struck at her with his whip. 
Upon this, she went back and told the 

Gera^'nf ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ Getaiiit what had passed. 
and Enid Sir Gcraiiit was very angry, and he said 
to the queen : 

"Fair queen, I will ride after this 
knight and his dwarf and avenge the 
insult done to your maiden. If I suc- 
ceed, I shall return in three days/' 

'*Do so,** said the queen, **and I trust 
you will succeed, not only in this, but in 
all things which you attempt. Some day 
you will love some fair lady. Before you 
marry her, bring her to me, and no mat- 
ter how poor or how rich she may be, I 
will clothe her for her wedding in the 
most beautiful garments in the world. 
They shall shine like the sun.** 

So off rode Sir Geraint, keeping at 
some distance behind the lady, the knight, 
and the dwarf. At last, after passing 
through many woods, he lost sight of 
them as they disappeared beyond the top 
of a hill. Sir Geraint rode up, and saw 
below him, in a valley, the one street of 
a little town. »0n one side was a fortress, 
so new that the stone of which it was 
built was still white ; while on the other 
side stood a gray old castle, fast falling 

into decay. He saw the three people he q^^^^-^^ 
was following enter the fortress. and Enid 

In the little town there was a great deal 
of noise and bustle. At first Sir Geraint 
could not find any place to stay, for the 
houses were all full. He stopped before 
a servant who was scouring his master s 
armor, and asked what all the noise meant. 
The servant said: 

''The Sparrow-hawk,'' and went on 

Then he met an old man carrying a 
sack of corn, and asked him the same 
question. The old man made the same 
reply. Next Sir Geraint approached one 
who was making armor, and questioned 
him. Without looking up the man replied ; 

' ' Friend, he who works for the Sparrow- 
hawk has little time for answering ques- 

Sir Geraint was vexed, and said: 

''I am weary of hearing of your Spar- 
row-hawk. I do not understand what you 
mean. Will you not* tell me where I can 
find a place to stay for to-night ? And 
will you not sell me some armor ? I have 
but my sword." 


134 ^ Mn^ artl^ttt? 

Geri^';a Thcii the man looked up, and said: 
and Enid **Your patdon, sir. We are all very 
busy here, for to-morrow we hold a tourna- 
ment, and our work is not half done. I 
cannot give you armor, for we need all 
that we have in the town. As to lodging, 
all the room is taken. However, perhaps 
Earl Iniol in the castle will receive you." 
Sir Geraint rode over to the gray old 
castle, and as the gate was open, entered 
the ruined courtyard. Dismounting, he 
went into the hall. Here he found the^ 
earl, an elderly man dressed in clothes 
which had once been handsome, but were. 
now old and worn. To him Sir Geraint 

* ' Good sir, I seek lodging for the night. ' ' 
The old Earl Iniol answered: 
* * Sir, I was once rich and am now poor ; 
nevertheless, I will gladly give you the 
best I have.'* 

As he spoke, some one in the castle be- 
gan to sing. The voice was very sweet. 
Sir Geraint thought he had never heard 
any one" sing so wonderfully. 

*'That is my daughter Enid,'' said the 


atiD !^(g lUiniQfytfi ^ 135 

Then he took Sir Geraint into a room q^^^^-^^ 
in which sat an old lady in a faded velvet and Enid 
gown. She was the earFs wife. By her 
side stood Enid in a faded silk gown. 
She was as beautiful as her voice was 
sweet, and after watching her, Sir Geraint 
said to himself : 

'*I already love this maiden.*' 

He said nothing out loud, only looked 
at her. Earl Iniol spoke to her: 

'* Enid, this good knight will stay with 
us. His horse is in the courtyard; take it 
to the stall and give it corn. Then go into 
the town and buy us some food.'' 

Sir Geraint wished to put away his 
horse himself, but the old earl said: 

' ' Sir, we are very poor, but we cannot 
permit our guest to do any work. I pray 
you, stay here." 

So Enid took the horse to the stall. 
After that, she went into the town and 
soon returned with meat and sweet cakes. 
Then, because most of the rooms in the old 
castle were in ruins, she cooked the meat 
in the same hall in which they were to eat. 
When the meal was ready, she waited on 
her father and her mother and Sir Geraint. 

136 -^ feing Qivt\iuv 

Geraint '^^^ knight watched her and loved her 
and Enid more and more. 

When they had risen from the table, he 
said to the earl : 

** My lord, pray tell me what the people 
of this town mean when they speak of the 
Sparrow-hawk. *' 

The earl's face grew sad, as he said: 

*' That is the name given to the young 
knight who rules in this town.'' 

'*Does he live in the fortress?'' asked 
Sir Geraint. *'And do a lady and a dwarf 
ride with him?" 

" Yes," said the earl. 

''Ah, then he is the man I am in search 
of," said Sir Geraint. '*I must fight with 
him before three days are over. I am Ge- 
raint of King Arthur s Court." 

''I know your name well," said the 
earl. **We often hear of your great 
deeds at Camelot. Many times have I 
related to my Enid the story of your 
brave deeds." 

' ' I am bound to do my duty with the 
other knights," answered Sir Geraint. 
**And now tell me more of this Sparrow- 


ant> l^(g "Sunigfyt^ ^ ^37 

' 'Alas! he is my nephew, '' said the earl, ^^^^^-^^ 
*'At one time I ruled this town. My and Enid, 
nephew, the Sparrow-hawk, was powerful, 
too, and he asked to unite our power by 
marrying Enid, but neither , she nor I 
wished it. Then he collected a body of 
men and attacked me, and took all my 
wealth, leaving me nothing but this old 
castle/* - 

* * To-morrow, *' said Sir Geraint, ' 1 will 
fight in the tournament with this Sparrow- 
hawk, and conquer him, and give you back 
your lands. But I lack armor. " 1. 

' ' I can give you armor, although it is 
old and rusty, *' said the earl. ' ' But no one 
is allowed to fight in this tournament un- 
less thefe is some lady he loves best in all 
the world. Then he fights for the sake 
of this lady, and if he wins, receives the 
prize, which he in turn gives to her.'' 

' * What is the prize ? *' asked Sir Geraint 

''A hawk, a sparrow-hawk made of 
gold. This nephew of mine is very strong 
and has always overcome every knight who 
has opposed him in these tournaments, 
which are held yearly. It is because he 
has won the prize so often that he is called 


138 ^ Um 3itt]^ttt? 

Geri5n/ ^^^ Spartow-hawk. But tell me, is there 
and Enid some lady whom you love?*' 

Then Sir Geraint said: 

''I love this child of yours, my lord, 
and will gladly make her my wife if you 
will permit it/' 

The earl was very glad, but Enid was 
afraid, for she thought she was not wor- 
thy of such a great knight. Yet, she knew 
she loved him, and said so, and soon prom- 
ised to go with him to Arthur's Court 
within three days. 

The next morning, the earl and Sir 
Geraint and Enid went to the field where 
the tournament was to take place. Many 
knights and ladies were there.- The 
ladies sat under a pavilion which was 
draped in purple velvet ornamented with 
gold, while the knights were on horse- 
back. A herald blew a trumpet, and the 
knight who was called the Sparrow-hawk 
galloped into the field. 

He rode around it three times, and then 
went up to the pavilion and said to hislady : 

'*I give you the gold sparrow-hawk 
again, because no one dares to fight with 
me for it" 

Then Sir Geraint rode forward <^^ramt 

rusty armor and said: .^^<^^^^^ 

''I will fight with you." V 

The knight looked upon him, and ga 
a very scornful laiigh as he rode at Sii 
Geraint. The tw^o clashed together and 
began to fight fiercely, while all the peo- 
ple watched. Twice they had to stop and 
rest. For a long time they seemed evenly 
matched, and no one could decide which 
would win. But when Sir Geraint looked 
to where Enid sat in her faded silk gown 
among the richly dressed ladies in the pa- 
vilion, he grew very strong and struck his 
enemy such a blow that he fell to the earth. 

'*Now, Sparrow-hawk,*' said Sir Ge- 
raint, ' * I have overthrown you. You must 
do two things : you must ride with your 
lady and your dwarf to Arthur s Court and 
ask pardon of Queen Guinevere because 
your dwarf struck her maiden; and you 
must restore all the riches you have taken 
from your good uncle, Earl Iniol.'' 

This the knight promised to do. And 
afterwards, in Arthur s Court, he grew 
very sorry for his evil deeds, and became 
a good man. 


Mo ^ feing artl^ttr 

•^^ Meanwhile, Enid was making ready to 
andEp^ go to Arthur's Court with Sir Geraint. 
She was sorry that she had only her robe 
of faded silk. She remembered a robe 
hfer mother had given her before the 
Sparrow-hawk took their riches. It was 
of velvet, the color of mother-of-pearl, 
with gold leaves and flowers and birds 
embroidered upoii it. 

While she was thinking of this beau- 
tiful robe, her mother entered the room, 
carrying it Enid gave a cry of joy, and 
her mother told her that the Sparrow- 
hawk had just given it back, together 
with other robes and gold and jewels. 
**Put it on, Enid,** she said, and helped 
her daughter to array herself in the hand- 
some gown, exclaiming: '' How beautiful 
you look, my dear child ! Sir Gerg^int may 
well be proud to fetch such a fair lady to 
King Arthurs Court." 

Just then the earl entered to tell them 
that the knight wanted Enid to ride with 
him to Camelot in the faded silk dress in 
which he had first seen her. 

Enid, although she was deeply disap- 
pointed, at once put on again her faded 

\ \ 1 

ant> l^(g "SxniQfyt^ ^ hi 

gown. When Sir Geraint came in he saw q^^^^-^^ 
that the earl's wife was also disappointed, and Enid 
so he told them that the queen had prom- 
ised to dress his bride in the most beau- 
tiful robes in the world for her wedding. 
At this both the ladies were much pleased. 
So after bidding farewell to her parents, 
Enid rode with Sir Geraint to Camelot, 
where the queen welcomed her, and gave 
her a robe that was as bright as the sun. 
Then the good Archbishop of Canterbury 
married Sir Geraint and Enid amid great 

■l ifting arti^m; 



'HERE was a woman 
in Arthurs Court 
named Morgan le Fay, who had learned a 
great deal about magic. She was a wicked 
woman, and hated the king because he 
was more powerful than she, and because 
he was so good. 

However, she pretended to be a true 
friend to him, and the king believed in 
her. One day when they were talking to- 
gether, she asked him if he would not let 
her take charge of his wonderful sword 
Excalibur, and its scabbard. She said 
that she would guard them so carefully 
that they would never be stolen. As 
she was very eager, Arthur granted her 

One day in time of peace, King Arthur 

went out hunting with a certain knight 


named Sir Accalon, who was the lover of ^J'j ^Jy 
Morgan le Fay. They rode for a long Accaion 
time, and when they were tired, stopped 
to rest beside a great lake. As they looked 
over its shining waters, they saw a beau- 
tiful little ship, which sailed straight 
towards them, and ran up to the sands 
at their feet. It was all covered with 
golden silks, which waved in the gentle 
wind. King Arthur and Sir Accalon 
climbed into it and examined it thor- 
oughly, but they found no one on board. 

They rested on two couches which 
were on the deck, until it grew dark. 
Then they were about to return home, 
when all at once, a hundred torches set 
on the sides of the ship were lighted, and 
suddenly there appeared twelve beautiful 
damsels who told the two that they were 
welcome, and that they should be served 
with a banquet. 

Presently the maidens led the king 
and the knight into a room which had a 
table covered with a white cloth embroid- 
ered in purple. It bore many golden 
dishes, and each dish had a beautiful 
design carved upon it. Some dishes had 

144 ^ Mm ^VtljUV 

^nd%y^ vine-leaves, others ivy-leaves ; some had 

Accaion angels with long robes sweeping back in 

graceful lines ; and all these dishes held 

choice food. The king and Sir Accaion 

ate to their hearts' content. 

Then the damsels led them into two 
separate chambers. King Arthur was 
tired and so sleepy that he gave but one 
glance at his becfeoom. He saw that it 
was hung in red silk embroidered with 
gold dragons and grij0&ns. Then he threw 
himself on his'bed and slept very soundly. 

When he awoke, he found himself not 
in the pretty bed-chamber, but in a dark 
place. He could see nothing, but all about 
him he heard the sound of complaining 
and weeping. He was much bewildered, 
but in a moment he cried : 

' ' What is this ? Where am I ? " 

Then a voice answered: 

''You are in prison, as we are." 

''Who are you ?** asked Arthur. 

The voice replied : 

"We are twenty knights, prisoners, 
and some of us have been here as long as 
seven years. We are in the dungeons of 
a wicked lord named Sir Damas. He has 

aim l^g ittriflfttg ai' 145 




a younger brother, and the two brothers ^^ 
are enemies, quarreling about their inher- Accaiom 
itance. Now the younger brother. Sir 
Ontzlake, is very strong, but Sir Damas is 
not strong, and moreover, he is a coward. 
So he tries to find a knight who will fight 
for him against Sir Ontzlake. 

"But Sir Damas is so much hated that 
no one will fight for him. So he goes 
about the country with a body of rough 
men, and whenever he sees a knight, he 
captures him. Then he asks him to fight 
with Sir Ontzlake. So far, all the knights 
have refused, and have been thrown into 
prison. We do not have food enough, but 
we would rather die here than fight for 
Sir Damas, who is so wicked." 

At that moment a damsel entered the 
prison with a torch, which faintly lighted 
the dismal place, and advanced to the king. 

''Sir," she said, "will you fight for my 
lord. Sir Damas ? If you will, you shall 
be taken from this prison. If you will 
not, you shall die here." 

Arthur considered for some time, and 
then said: 

* ' I would rather fight than die in prison. 


'Z^^ 146 -^ fetng artl^ttt? 

^^^^j^.^ If I fight, will you deliver also all these 
Accaion prisoners?'' 

The damsel promised, and Arthur con- 
sented to fight. While she went to tell Sir 
Damas, Arthur said to the other prisoners: 
'* My friends, I do not know Sir Damas, 
and I do not know Sir Ontzlake. I do not 
know whether they are bad or good. But 
I will fight, and then, when I have con- 
quered, I shall judge between them, and 
do justice to both.'' 

! ' ' That is a good plan, ' ' said the knights, 

''but why are you so sure that you will 

I ''I am Arthur, the King," he replied. 

I At that the knights set up a great cry 

of joy, and the king continued: 

i * * I shall send for my good sword Excal- 

I ibur and the scabbard, and with these I 

j shall suiely win." 

\ So when Arthur and the knights were 

1 led out of prison, the king sent the dam- 

sel who had visited them to Morgan le 
Fay for his sword and scabbard. 

Meantime, the knight who had accom- 
panied Arthur on the little ship. Sir Acca- 
ion, also awoke. He found himself in 


the palace of Morgan le Fay, and he won- ^^ 
dered very much where Arthur was. He Accaion 
went to the lady, who said to him: 

* * My dear lord, the day has come when 
you can have great power if you want it. 
Should you like to be king of this land, 
instead of Arthur?" 

Now Sir Accaion was a traitor at heart. 
He wanted very much to be king, even if 
the good Arthur was to be killed; so he 

"Yes, truly." 

Then she said: 

' ' You shall be king, and I shall be your 
queen. All you need to do is to fight a 
great battle, which you shall win. I have 
been using my magic. It was I who sent 
the ship of silk to you and Arthur. I 
had him put into prison, and I had you 
brought here." 

Sir Accaion wondered very much. 
Then she told him of the fight King Ar- 
thur was to make against Sir Ontzlake. 

' ' But I have caused Sir Ontzlake to fall 
sick," she said, ''and he cannot fight. I 
shall go with you to his castle and you can 
offer to fight for him." 

148 ^ Mm arti^ur 

and^y *'I to fight with the king!" cried Sir 
Accaion Accalon. * * He would surely overthrow 

' ' He cannot, " said Morgan le Fay, * * be- 
cause you are to fight with his sword. A 
little while ago he sent to me for Excalibur 
and the scabbard, but I returned him a 
false sword which looks like Excalibur, 
and a false scabbard. You shall take the 
true ones, and then you will surely over- 
come him and rule this land." 

Then Sir Accalon was glad, and he 
hastened with the lady to the castle of 
Sir Ontzlake. They found him groaning 
because he was ill and because Sir Damas 
had sent him a challenge to fight with a 
knight, and he could not accept it. He 
was much relieved when Morgan le Fay 
told him that Sir Accalon would fight in 
his place. 

Early in the afternoon. King Arthur 
and Sir Accalon rode into the field where 
the combat was to be held. Arthur did 
not know who Sir Accalon was, nor did 
any one else, except Morgan le Fay. Two 
sides of the field were full of people who 
came to watch, half of whom were friends 


anP l^fg ftirtfii^tg g^ 149 

of Sir Damas, and the other half were ^^^y 
friends of Sir Ontzlake. Accaion 

Arthur and Sir Accaion rode at each 
other so furiously that at the shock of the 
meeting both fell off their horses. Then 
they began to fight fiercely with their 
swords. The king could make no headway 
with his false steel, but whenever Sir 
Accaion struck at Arthur he drew blood. 

The king was much amazed. He grew 
weaker and weaker, but still he kept on 
his feet. Those who watched him were 
sorry for him ; they thought they had never 
seen a man fight so bravely. At last 
Arthurs sword broke, and fell in two 
pieces on the ground. When Sir Accaion 
saw this, he cried: 

''Now, yield to me." 

* ' I will never yield, " said the king, ' 'and 
if you do not get me another sword, you 
will be shamed before all men, for it is an 
unknightly thing to fight with a defense- 
less man." 

" I do not care," said Sir Accaion. " If 
you will not yield, defend yourself with 
your shield as best you can." 

He rushed at the king. Arthur was so 

ISO ^^ fefng arti^ur 

Und^sJr w^^k that he could hardly stand, but he 
Accaion guarded himself as well as he could with 
his shield. Soon he could do no more, and 
fell to the ground. 

At this moment the Lady of the Lake, 
who had given Arthur his sword, came 
upon the field. She was invisible, but any- 
one who had listened intently could have 
heard a sound like the ripple of water as 
she walked. She caused Excalibur to fall 
out of the hand of Sir Accaion and drop 
near Arthur. 

When it fell, Arthur saw that it was 
his own Excalibur. He grasped its handle 
and some of his strength came back. He 
struggled to his feet, and rushing up to 
Sir Accaion, seized the scabbard of Excali- 
bur and threw it far over the field. 

''Now,'' he said, **send for a second 
sword and fight with me.'* 

Then Sir Accaion was afraid. Yet he 
thought that Arthur was so weak that he 
could still be overcome. So he sent for 
a second sword, and they began to fight 
again. Arthur's strength, however, had 
largely returned, and in a short time he 
gave Sir Accaion a mortal stroke. 


ann l^fg liixiiQfyt^^ 151 

Sir Accalon fell to the ground, and the ^^^^ 
king, leaning over him, cried: Accaion 

**Tell me who you are." 

Then Sir Accalon was filled with re- 
morse, and he said : 

''Oh, my King, I have been a traitor 
to you, but now I am dying, and I am 
sorry for what I have done. I deserve 
my death." 

He told the king his name, and all 
about his treachery, and that of Morgan 
le Fay. 

King Arthur was sad. 

''It is very hard to be deceived in a 
friend," he said, "but I forgive you 
freely. I will try to cure your wound, 
and sometime I shall trust you again." 

"You cannot cure me," said Sir Acca- 
lon. "I am dying. Let them carry me 
off the field." 

So he was taken to a neighboring 
abbey, while the people crowded about 
the king to congratulate him, but Arthur 

"I am sad at heart. My victory is no 
comfort to me, for to-day I have lost a 
friend whom I believed true." 

152 ^ Mm artl^m? 

an^^sty '^^^^ ^^ called the two brothers, Sir 
Acca/on Damas and Sir Ontzlake, and judged their 
cause. He decided that their property 
must be divided equally between them, 
and that they must be friends. They 
promised never to quarrel again. Arthur 
told them that they must be kind to other 
knights and to all people. He said that 
if he heard that they were not, he would 
come and punish them. 

After this. Sir Damas gave back to the 
twenty knights all their money, and they 
went on their way rejoicing. King 
Arthur mounted his horse and rode over 
to the abbey, where he sat by the bed of 
Sir Accalon till the poor knight died. 
Then the king went back alone to his 
Court at Camelot. 

anD 1^(18 ftirigl^tg s 

THA^dANT @ ^ i 

ONCE upon a time King Arthur and 
some of his knights were sailing in 
a ship. The king, being tired, went to 
sleep in his cabin, and began to dream. It 
seemed to him that he was sailing with 
his people when a great dragon flew out 
of the west. This dragon had a blue head 
and a gold back. Underneath he shone 
like a rainbow. Flames of fire rushed out 
of his mouth and covered land and sea. 

As he flew, there came out of the east 
a great bear, very rough, and as black as 
coal, and with wings that flapped like 
windmills. The bear and the dragon 
roared loudly, and they began to fight 
and struggle till the sea was all red with 
blood. At last the dragon conquered. 

When the king awoke from this dream 

154 ^ fefng ^vtliuv 

^^^^^ he sent for Merlin and told him of it, and 
Fouj^A^ asked for an explanation. 
^G/an^ * * My lord, ' ' Merlin replied, * * the dragon 
betokens yourself; the colors on its body 
are signs of your glory. The bear .beto- 
kens some tyrant who torments the peo- 
ple and whom you will slay.'* 

Soon after this, the ship in which the 
company was, came in sight of land. 
When they had anchored, the knights 
noticed on the beach a crowd of people 
who were weeping. Descending from the 
ship, Arthur asked one of the men what 
troubled them, and what was the name 
of their country. 

''Good sir,'' returned the man, ''this 
is the country of Brittany, and we weep be- 
cause our country is desolated by a giant. 
He makes us bring him food. First, he 
ate up all the oxen we had, and then our 
horses. Next he demanded our children, 
and now there are no little ones in the land. 
To-day he took our good duchess of Brit- 
tany, and carried her off to his mountain." 

"Alas! *' said the king. "It grieves me 
to hear this, not only because a cruel deed 
has been done, but because the duchess of 

and l^g I3migfyt» ^ 155 

Brittany is my cousin's wife. I must save ^^^^ 
this lady. I will fight with the giant." /2w£^ 

"Good sir," cried the people in amaze- Gian/ 
ment, "it is not possible! A whole com- 
pany of us dare not attack him, and yet 
we account ourselves brave men." 

"That may well be," replied Arthur, 
"and yet with my good sword and scab- 
bard I have no fear." 

Then the men said: 

"If you will go, my lord, yonder is the 
great mountain where the giant lives. 
At the top, two huge fires bum contin- 
ually in front of a cave, and in that cave 
are greater treasures than you can dream 
of. They are all yours if you will but slay 
this monster." 

Arthur replied nothing to them, but 
called Sir Kay and Sir Bedivere, and rode 
with them to the foot of the motmtain. 
From that point he ascended alone. 
When he was nearly to the top he came 
upon a woman, clad all in black, who sat 
weeping by the side of a newly-made 

"Good woman, why do you weep?" 
asked Arthur. 

156 ^ ftfng gtrtJ^ttt? 

^^^^ * ' Hush, hush ! " she cried, ' ' or the giant 

Fought will hear you and come and kill you. He 

Giant cau hear me, but the sound of weeping 

delights him, and therefore I need not 

restrain my grief/' 

' * Why do you grieve ?" the king asked. 

''Alas ! Because my good mistress, 
the duchess of Brittany, is dead. The 
giant has killed her.*' 

At that Arthur gripped tightly the 
handle of his sword and said: 

"I will kill this wretch before I am an 
hour older." 

"Ah, my lord,'' said the woman, "the 
greatest kings in the country are afraid 
of him. He has a coat embroidered with 
the beards of fifteen of them. He de- 
manded these beards as a sign that they 
acknowledged him as lord." 

' ' There is at least one king who does 
not acknowledge him as lord," shouted 
Arthur, as he strode hastily forward. 

When he reached the top he saw the 
giant asleep in front of the two great fires 
before the cave. He was taller than the 
tallest pine that ever grew. His arms 
were as big as the trunk of an oak tree. 

anP W^ fenfgi^tiBi gp 157 

His mouth was as large as a cave, and ^^^^^ 
from it and his nostrils came forth fire and fou^a^ 
flame like that from the mountain of Gtant 
Vesuvius. Although his huge eyes were 
closed, flashes of lightning seemed to 
shoot from beneath the lids. At his side 
was an iron club as large as a steeple. 
About him stood trembling old women 
fanning him as he slept. 

King Arthur approached the monster, 
and said to him: 

''Wretch, awake and fight, for your 
hour has come.'* 

The giant, starting up, looked down 
scornfully upon the king and, laughing, 
threw his great club at Arthur. But the 
king leapt aside and the club fell harm- 
lessly on the ground, making a hollow 
where it struck. 

Then Arthur rushed toward the giant, 
waving his good sword Excalibur. The 
giant caught him in his arms, in order to 
squeeze him to death. The king's armor 
pressed closer and closer about hiri, and 
he began to lose his strength. But he kept 
his hand upon his scabbard, and so did not 

y^r^LT ^^ ^ ^^^ minutes the monster, making 
Fought sure that Arthur was dead, dropped him to 
Giant the ground. After the king had recovered 
himself, he sprang to his feet, and taking 
his sword, threw it at the giant. The good 
steel pierced his neck, and he sank to the 
ground, shouting so loudly that Sir Kay 
and Sir Bedivere at the foot of the moun- 
tain heard, and trembled for their master's 

Then the giant again seized Arthur in 
his arms, and the two began to roll down 
the mountain side. Whenever Arthur 
was able to, he struck at the giant with 
his dagger, wounding him sorely. At last, 
still struggling and rolling, they came to 
the spot where Sir Kay and Sir Bedivere 
were. These two loosed the giant's arms 
from the king, who then gave one last 
blow to the monster, killing him. Then 
he sent Sir Kay and Sir Bedivere for his 
sword Excalibur. 

. When the people on the seashore heard 
what Arthur had done, they fell on their 
knees and thanked him, offering him all 
the giant's treasure. He said, however, 
that he would leave it with them to divide 

among the poor people of the country. ^^^^ 
For himself, all he wanted was the giant's Fought 

iron club. Giant 

The people sent fifty men to the top of 
the mountain to get it for him. As they 
had no horses, it was a long time before 
they could drag the cluli to the seashore. 
There they put it on a barge. It was so 
heavy that it pressed the barge down till 
the water came almost to the edge of the 
vessel. Then King Arthur bade the people 
good-by, and took ship with his knights. 
The grateful men of Brittany stood on the 
shore, and shouted and waved until the 
ship could no longer be seen. 


Mm ^vG^nv 

IN the time of the great Roman, Julius 
Caesar, about five hundred years 
before King Arthur was born, the people 
of Rome conquered Britain. They made 
many improvements in the land, building 
roads and walls, the remains of which may 
be seen to this day. But they also forced 
the Britons to pay them much money. 
All the kings did this up to the time of 
Arthur. He, however, considered that 
England was his own. He had conquered 
the lesser kings, and made one realm of 
all the land, over which he ruled with wise 
government. So he refused to send any 
money to Rome. 


Once King Arthur's knights were all ^^^^ 
together in the great hall. It was a time Fought 
of peace, and they spent the days in riding Rome 
and hunting. On this day, while the king 
was sitting on his throne, twelve old men 
entered, each bearing a branch of olive, 
as a sign that they came in peace. They 
were the messengers of the emperor of 
Rome, and, after bowing to the king, 
they said: 

'*Sir, our mighty emperor sends you 
greeting, and commands you to acknowl- 
edge him as lord, and to send him the 
money due him from your realm. Your 
father and his predecessors did this, and 
so must you. If you refuse, the emperor 
will make such war against you that it 
will be an example to all the world.'* 

At this the young knights laid their 
hands to their swords, but the older 
knights, who had self-control enough to 
hide their feelings, waited to see what the 
king would do. 

Arthur bowed courteously to the mes- 
sengers, and told them that he would soon 
give them an answer. He commanded a 

knight to take them to a lodging, and to 

162 -^ feing attl^ttr 

Arthur ^^^ ^^^^ they had all they needed, and he 
Fought ordered that no harm should be done them. 
Rome Then he called a council of his great lords 
and asked their advice. 

Sir Lancelot, Arthur's favorite lord, 
spoke first, saying: 

*'My lord, we have rested for many 
weeks, and can make sharp war now. In 
days gone by, we should not have dared 
attack the Romans, and indeed, our at- 
tempt will make the world wonder. But 
of a truth, we ought to fighf 

Then spoke King Angus of Scotland : 

* ' My lord Arthur, you are the greatest 
lord on earth. You have made all of us 
lesser kings your subjects, and bound the 
kingdom together, and stopped our civil 
wars. We love you and we will help you. 
We pray you to make war on these Ro- 
mans. When they ruled our elders, they 
demanded much gold and made our 
people very poor. If you will fight, I will 
furnish you with twenty thousand men, 
and will bear all the cost of them myself. '' 

Then all the other lords promised to fur- 
nish men and arms. When Arthur heard 
this, he was glad of their courage and good 

will. He called in the messengers and ^^J^^ 
said to them: Fau^kt 

"Return to your emi)eror. Tell him ^opm 
that I refuse his command, for I owe him 
nothing. I have won this kingdom by my 
own strength. Tell him that I shall come 
with all my army to Rome and make him 
acknowledge me as lord." 

Then Arthur told his treasurer to give 
the messengers gifts, and to take them 
safely out of the country. Sir Lancelot 
conducted them to the sea, where they 
took ship and sailed to France. On they 
journeyed over the Alps and into Italy. 
When they told the emperor of Rome 
their message, he said: 

"I had thought Arthur would yield." 

But the messengers said: 

*'Sir, his face would have told you, if 
you had seen it, that he would never 
yield. In truth, there is need of fear, for 
he is a great king and surrounded by 
great knights." 

' ' This is foolish talk, " the emperor said. 
"Remember that we are Romans. We 
have ruled the world for centuries, and a 
little king of little England shall not make 

Ar^A^ US fear. You say that he is coming to fight 
Fou^At with us. We will take a few troops and 
i^ome go forthwith to France to meet him.'' 

The messengers begged the emperor 
to take many troops. 

''My lord emperor," they said, ''these 
men of Arthur are very numerous and 
very brave." 

So at last the emperor brought all his 
men to France, and there, whenever he 
found people who were loyal to Arthur, 
he killed and laid waste. 

Meanwhile, Arthur had gathered to- 
gether all his troops. He bade farewell 
to Queen Guinevere, who was so grieved 
that she fell in a swoon. Then he rode 
off at the head of his men till they came 
to the sea, and there they embarked in 
ten thousand boats and sailed to France. 

They marched till they came near to 
the troops of the emperor of Rome, where 
they rested for the night. In the morn- 
ing they rose at dawn and looked at the 
Roman legions. These were encamped 
in a green field which glittered with the 
gold on their tents and armor. The em- 
peror s tent was of purple silk and bore 

m^Jl^sjfo^^^ 165 

on the top a golden eagle, the emblem of ^^^^ 
Rome. Foufht 

Two of Arthurs knights. Sir Lancelot Itomu 
and Sir Gawain, rode out to the em- 
peror, and told him that their king had 

"That I see," said the emperor laugh- 
ing, "and he shall soon return." 

The two knights made no answer, but 
rode back to Arthur. Soon all the soldiers 
on each side made ready for fighting. 
The preparation was careful, for they 
knew that the contest was to be a great 
one. The emperor of Rome addressed 
his soldiers: 

"Romans, remember that Rome is 
the chief cit}' of the world. I do not 
say fight as men ; I say to you, fight as 
Romans. Then you will surely conquer 
these Britons." 

King Arthur galloped up and down 
before the front rank of his men, looking 
at them carefully. He was on a beauti- 
ful white horse whose mane rose and 
fell in the wind like a wave of the sea. 
His soldiers cheered lustih^ for their 
beloved commander. Then King Arthur 

1 66 

: irtnfi 9Mam 

Arthur ^^^^^ ^^^ hand for silence, and spoke in 
Fought a loud, clear voice : 
Rome *' My knights and men whom I love, 
remember that you are fighting to-day 
for your rights and for the independence 
of Britain. Strike well, and do not for- 
get that great courage is as powerful as 
great numbers." 

With that, he gave the signal for at- 
tack. The Romans stood in full battle 
array with their emperor in front. Be- 
side him were sixteen kings with gold 
helmets and silver armor. The English 
approached, shouting a battle-cry. 

Then the Romans, at the call of the 
trumpet, rushed forward, and in a moment 
the two great armies clashed together. 
Clouds of dust arose through which could 
be seen at intervals the heads of horses 
and the helmets of men. The few poor 
shepherds and women who stood on the 
outside did not know that the greatest 
battle of the time was going on under 
that cloud of dust. 

Inside the cloud there was great con- 
fusion. Britains and Romans were fight- 
ing side by side, so closely packed that 

ani> INg jmfg^g ^ 



hand for 

i68 ^ Mm atti^ttr 

Ar^A^ sometimes it was hard to strike. All 
Fou^^t fought bravely, but no one did so well as 
i^ome Arthur and Sir Lancelot. The battle did 
not cease until it was dark. Each side 
had lost many men. King Arthur wept 
as he rode over the field and counted his 
dead knights, and even his beautiful 
horse drooped its head as if it, also, un- 

But the next day the two armies began 
to fight again, and when the emperor 
finally saw that his men were losing and 
that most of the kings who were helping 
him were dead, he said : 

'*This Arthur is a demon and not a 
man. I will fight with him myself and 
end this battle." And before any one 
could stop him, he spurred up to King 
Arthur and said: 

' * You on the white horse who refuse 
to pay me tribute, come out that I may 
kill you." 

Then Arthur rode quickly towards the 
emperor. The two men began to fight, 
and Arthur soon saw that he was contend- 
ing with a powerful man. He gave the 
emperor many a stroke with Excalibur, 


but he himself received deep blows. At ^^^^ 
last the emperor pierced x^rthtir's helmet, J^o^^ 
and wounded him deeply in the cheek. /^ame 

King Arthur raised his good Excali- 
bur with a last eflfort and struck his 
enemy with it so fiercely on the head 
that the blow cleft the helmet and pierced 
to the emperor's chin. He fell from his 
horse without a moan. When the Ro- 
mans near by saw that their ruler was 
dead, they gave a great cry of grief and 
rushed upon Arthur, but his good knights 
protected him. 

At last, seeing themselves conquered, 
the Romans surrendered. Arthur found 
among his prisoners three senators, and 
among the dead, sixty senators, the six- 
teen kings, and the emperor. 

He was sorrowful, for he knew that 
they were great men. So he had them 
embalmed and laid in chests of lead. 
Around each chest flags were wound, and 
the shields of the dead warriors placed 
on top. Then he said to the three sur- 
viving senators : 

''Take these noble dead bodies back 
to Rome. When the Romans see them 


^ Mxv^ %vS(m 

A^hur ^^^y ^^^ never again dare ask tax or 

Fought tribute of me. I shall not go to Rome 

Rome and take the city from you , but if ever 

you send to me for gold, I shall invade 

your land and never rest till all Italy is 


The senators bowed their heads. Then 
they laid the body of the emperor on a 
car, all alone, with the gold eagle above 
him. They laid the bodies of the kings 
and the senators two by two on chariots, 
and so went slowly towards Rome. And 
never again did the kings of Britain have 
to pay a tax to the Romans. 


anb f^i^ Ifetrtgl^tg s 



ONE day when Arthur and his knights 
were in the hall of the Round Table, 
a young man entered. He was so large 
that his shoulders were as wide as the 
doorway, and he could hardly squeeze 
through. The knights looked at him in 
amazement, for he was almost a giant. 

When he came closer to them, they saw 
that he had on a coat which was far too 
large for him. It hung in wrinkles and 
folds all over his back, and the sleeves 
were so long that he had to turn them up 
almost to the elbow. The coat was of 
rich material, gold cloth, but it was old 
and blood-stained. 

The young man strode up to the king 
and said : 

** My lord, my name is Brune. I can 


172 -^ feing attl^ttr 

7r«/^i/ tell you no more than that. I beg you to 
with the make me a knight." 
Male At this Sir Kay laughed and said: 
^^^^ '' He must be called The Knight with 
the Badly Made Coat." 

**Call me what you will," said the 
young man. * ' Yes, I take that name, for 
I will not tell my real one." 

Then Arthur spoke to him gently: 

* ' Young man, you ask a great thing. 
All those in my Court who are made 
knights must serve for a long time as 
squires. If they prove themselves loyal 
and brave, I make them knights. But I 
must always know whence they come, 
and who their fathers are." 

' * My lord, " said the young man, * ' I do 
indeed ask a great thing. I would gladly 
tell you more of myself, but I am under a 
vow to reveal no more than you already 
know. Yet I will tell you this, further. 
I am the son of a noble who was as big 
as a giant. My good father was very 
peaceable and did not care to fight; so 
he never came to your Court, and you 
did not hear of him. He lived at home 
with my mother and me, and the simple 


atm I^(j8 lixniQfyt^ ^ 173 

people who plowed the land about our ^^. ^^ 
cattle. ^^/^ 

" Every one ought to have loved him ; j/^ 
but he had one enemy. One day, six ^^^^ 
years ago, when I was only a boy, my 
father and I were in the forest. My 
father was sleeping at the foot of a tree, 
and I was bathing in a brook near by. 
This enemy, who wanted my father's 
lands, came up and drove his sword into 
my father s heart. Then he rode away. 
I ran up to my dead father and took oflF 
the coat which he wore and put it on. 
I swore never to take it oflF, and never to 
tell my father's name or where I came 
from, till I had avenged his death. 

*'Then I rode home to our castle, but 
our enemy had taken possession of it, and 
had made my mother prisoner. As I was 
not yet grown up I vowed that I would 
stay with the good shepherds near by till 
I was strong enough to pull up a young 
tree by the roots. Then I would go to 
King Arthur s Court and ask to be made 
a knight. So every month I have tried 
to uproot a young tree. This morning I 
succeeded, and here, my lords, I am." 


174 -^ fefng attl^ttr 

Knight '^^^ knights were much moved and 

with the prayed the king to make him a knight. 

M^L They said that they would teach him to 

^^^^ use arms. The king said that he would 

wait to see what sort of man Brune was. 

A few days after this all the knights 
rode oflf to a tournament and Brune was 
left at home with a few soldiers. He was 
in the castle yard practicing some of the 
lessons in warfare which the knights had 
been teaching him. While he was hard 
at work, Queen Guinevere with twelve sol- 
diers who were her bodyguard passed by. 

As she was speaking kindly to Brune, 
they heard a terrible noise, and looking 
in the direction from which it came, saw 
a dreadful sight. A fierce lion which 
had been confined in a tower of stone 
had broken out of its prison and was 
rushing towards them. The twelve sol- 
diers fled, leaving the queen and Brune 

* * Ah, " said Brune, ' ' not all the cowards 
in the world are dead." 

He stood still while the lion bounded 
towards him. He had dropped his sword, 
and as the beast leaped upon him, he 

ann l^g ftirtjfttgg;- 






with his 



176 -^ feing attl^ttr 

Knight s^^^^d ^^^ head in his hands. Then he 

with the slowly, slowly, bent its head back. It 

Male was a strong lion, and with the effort the 

^^^^ muscles on Brune's neck stood out like 

great ropes. Presently, the queen and 

Brune heard a loud crack and they knew 

that the lion's neck was broken. Brune 

loosed his hold, and the huge tawny body 

dropped to the ground, quivered a mo- 

ihent, and was still. 

While this was going on, the king and 
his knights returned. They saw at a 
glance what Brune had done, and cheered 
him loudly. The king rode up to him. 

** Kneel down,'' he said. 

Brune knelt down by the body of the 
lion, and the king touched him lightly 
with his sword, saying : 

'*Sir Brune, I make you a knight of 
my Round Table. Be always loyal, 
brave, and merciful." 

Then all the knights were glad, but 
Sir Brune was gladdest of all. 

and INg ftitffii^tg : 


AFTER Sir Bnine, the Knight with 
l\. the Badly Made Coat, had been at 
Arthur's Court for some months, he be- 
came eager to seek for the enemy of his 
father. Sir Lancelot, who took an interest 
in the big young knight, advised him to 
wait c.::.d try his strength at some smaller 
adventure first. 

One day, when Sir Lancelot was away 
hunting, a damsel entered Arthur's hall. 
She carried a black shield which had 
painted on it a white hand holding a 
sword. She bowed to the king and said : 

''My lord, I come for a knight to 
undertake the adventure of the black 

' 'And what is that adventure, fair dam- 
sel?" asked the king. 

12 [177] 


178 -^ !fe(ng artl^ttr 

Lancfiot '"That I may not tell you/' answered 
and Sir the damsel, ''except that it will cause 
^^^^ much fighting and bloodshed to the 
knight who chooses it/* 

Some of the knights were eager to go, 
and Sir Kay pressed forward to finger the 
shield. ' 

'*Do not touch it, good Sir Kay,'* said 
the maiden, ' ' for this adventure is not for 
you. I am to choose the knight.'* 

She passed up and down the hall, look- 
ing into the face of each one. When she 
had seen them all she came back to Sir 
Brune and said : 

''Young Knight with the Ugly Coat, 
will you take this shield?" 

"Gladly, if my king allows," said the 

Then Arthur gave his permission, and 
Sir Brune followed the damsel out of the 
hall. Her horse was black, and wore white 
trappings. Sir Brune's horse was as 
brown as an autumn leaf. The two 
mounted and rode away. Sir Brune 
began to talk to the damsel, whose name 
was Elinor. At first she was agreeable, 
but after they had ridden many miles 

and l^(g Ifetifgl^tg afc. 179 


she became ^ scornful, and told him she f^ , , 

' Lancelot 

was sorry sne had chosen him. and sir 

Sir Brune felt sad, because he had be- 
gun to love the damsel. He was afraid 
she did not like him because his coat was 
poor. He did not speak to her any more, 
but rode on sorrowfully beside her. After 
a long time they came to a castle enclosed 
by high walls. The gate stood open, and 
the damsel Elinor pointed to it and said, 
sighing : 

' ' Since you have not left me as I hoped 
you would, go in there. You will find 
your first adventure. I may not tell you 
what it is.'* 

Sir Brune galloped inside the gate. 
There he saw a hundred knights on horse- 
back, armed and waiting for him. He had 
to think and act quickly. So he decided 
to rush in between the knights and put 
his back against the castle wall. Then he 
could fight with his back protected. He 
did this, though not without receiving 
some spear-wounds. Then he began to 

The lady of the castle, whom the 
knights were keeping prisoner, watched 



i8o -^ jKing ^tcmt 


Lancfiot ^^ ^2^* ^^^ ^^ ^^^^ window, and grieved 
««£;S>r for the brave young man who had so 
many against him. She began to speak 
to him in a low voice : 

"Young knight, if you can only get to 
the left side of the castle wall, there is a 
secret door through which you can escape. 
If you look, you will see that one portion 
of the wall is made of black stones. Strike 
the stones with the hilt of your sword, and 
a door will open through which you can 
ride out.*' 

The other knights did not hear what 
the lady said, for they were farther away 
from her than Sir Brune was. Even he 
could hardly catch her words. He took 
a quick glance to the left and saw that 
there was indeed a portion of the wall 
marked with black stones. Then he be- 
gan to work his way carefully towards 
the secret gate. 

He was obliged to move slowly for fear 
the knights would guess what he was 
doing. Moreover, it was becoming very 
hard to fight, because of his many wounds. 
However, he at last came near the door ; 
then he backed his brown horse up 


i8i ' 

and l^(g litiiQfyt^ ^ 

against it, struck the black stones with f^nce/oi^p^ 
the handle of his sword, and the door andStr 
opened. The knights shouted with rage, 
but they were unable to reach him in 
time. Sir Brune escaped, leaving behind 
him twelve men dead. 

He was very weak, and he made his 
way painfully to the side of the wall 
where the maiden Elinor waited for him. 
She ran to meet him, and led him gently 
to a brook in a forest near by. There 
she took off his armor and bathed his 
wounds, anointing them with a precious 
salve she carried. 

Sir Brune thought that she was sorry 
because she had been scornful of him, 
and he began to talk to her. But she 
said : 

*' Do not talk to me. If you want to 
please me, go back to Arthur's Court." 

Sir Brune did not know why she spoke 
so, but he was too tired to think. So he 
lay down on the grass by the brook and 
went to sleep. 

Meantime, at Arthur's Court Sir Lan- 
celot had returned from his hunting 
expedition, and was told how Sir Brune 



182 ^ Mm 3itt]^ttt 

LanJiot ^^^ gone out with a damsel on the adven- 
at^sir ture of the shield. 

' ' Oh ! '' cried Sir Lancelot, ' ' what have 
you done ! He will surely be killed. 
Merlin has told me what this adventure 
of the shield is. Many and many a 
knight has taken it up and each has been 
killed. A knight who vows to follow this 
adventure has to meet dangers of all 
sorts. This young untried Sir Brune 
will certainly be killed.*' 

He called for his horse and arms, and 
said to the king : 

**My lord, I will ride after this poor 
young man and give him what help I 
can. Perhaps I shall be too late ; but if 
not, I shall ask him to give me this ad- 
venture of the shield.'* 

Then Sir Lancelot mounted his horse 
and rode after Sir Brune. When he 
came near the brook where Sir Brune 
and the damsel had rested, he heard the 
sound of a great combat. Spurring for- 
ward he saw Sir Brune, fighting single- 
handed against six knights. Sir Lance- 
lot rushed to the rescue and quickly over- 
threw the enemy. He found that they 

WlDJI^JItrtggWss' ^ 185 


.^A Sir 

L. Lancelot 

belonged to the company of the hundred 
knights whom Sir Bnine had attacked, an^^'sir 
He ordered them, first of all, to free the 
lady of the castle, and then to go to 
Arthur's Court and surrender themselves 
to the mercy of the king. 

Poor Sir Brune was almost dead, but 
Sir Lancelot revived him, and in a feeble 
voice he thanked Sir Lancelot for his 
help. But the damsel begged : 

*'Take him back to the Court of your 
king. I do not want him to follow this 
quest any longer.*' 

"This is surely ungrateful of you," 
said Sir Lancelot. '*He has fought 
bravely and well." 

''The maiden scorns me, though I 
love her," bitterly said Sir Brune. 

Then the damsel Elinor cried out: 

" I will tell the truth. I love you and 
I am afraid you will be killed. There- 
fore, I wish you to return to Camelot." 

Sir Brune was very glad, and he said : 

"I have pledged my word and must 
follow this quest. When I have suc- 
ceeded we shall go together back to Ar- 
thur's Court." 

1/4 -^ JKing gittl^ur 


z fi>?/ ' Give this adventure to me/' said Sir 
^i?^/r Lancelot, ''and go back now with the 
' damsel. 

But Sir Brune refused. Then Sir 
Lancelot said that they must undertake 
the adventure together, and Sir Brune 
consenting, they rode slowly forward. 
Soon they came to an abbey, where they 
rested for some days until Sir Brune was 

Then they traveled as the damsel gave 
directions. She always knew what they 
had to do. At times they passed through 
woods full of wild beasts, some of which 
attacked them. Again they passed over 
enchanted meadows where wicked magi- 
cians tried to cast spells over them. They 
also fought with many knights. How- 
ever, they escaped all dangers, although 
it is certain that Sir Brune would never 
have succeeded without the help of Sir 

At length the damsel Elinor told them 
that they were nearing the last adven- 
ture. She pointed to a castle on a hill ; 
a square structure built of black stones, 
with a turret on top. The damsel told 

atih l^g »trtfii^tg g^ 185 


them that at the gate of the castle were f'^^^^/^/ 
two huge dragons. These they must anifs/r 

"Whose is the castle?' asked Sir Brune. 

''It belongs now to the wicked Lord 
Brian of the Isles," answered the damsel. 

At this Sir Brune gave such a loud 
shout that the dragons on top of the hill 
heard him and roared in reply. 

"Ah !" cried he, "that is the name of 
my enemy, who killed my dear father. 
At last I shall slay him." 

He rode off so quickly that Sir Lance- 
lot had much trouble to keep up with 
him. It seemed scarcely five minutes 
before they came to the dragons; terrible 
• creatures, all of green, with eyes and 
tongues of flame. And their wings were 
as large as the sails of a ship. 

Sir Brune had never before seen a 
dragon, but he was not afraid. He fought 
very bravely, and even when the teeth of 
the dragons crunched on his helmet, he 
did not lose courage. After a fierce fight 
of half an hour, the two knights had 
killed the dragons. 

They hoped to rest, but at that moment 

i86 ^ Mxvj, %vssm 

Lancfiot ^^ castle gate opened and a porter ap- 
and Sir peared. 

''Enter and fight/' he said. 

Both spurred forward, but the porter 
said : 

''One only may enter." 

' ' Let me go/* said Sir Brune to Sir Lan- 
celot. ** Remember I am to avenge my 
father's death. It may be that Lord Brian 
of the Isles is waiting just inside the 

Sir Lancelot consented, and the porter 
led in Sir Brune and locked the gate. In- 
side were two great knights, the brothers 
of Lord Brian of the Isles. They were 
almost as large as Sir Brune. Together 
they set upon him. He was already tired 
from his fight with the dragons, but his 
desire to avenge his father strengthened 
his arm. One brother was soon over- 
thrown. When the other saw that, he 
yielded. Then Sir Brune sent them both 
to Sir Lancelot outside the gate. 

While Sir Brune was looking about him, 
a third knight appeared at the qnd of the 
courtyard. He was quite as large as Sir 
Brune, and as he came spurring up, the 


noise of his horse's hoofs was dea,iening:s^nce/o/ 
Sir Bnine recognized him as Sir Plenorius, 
the cousin of Lord Brian. 

' ' Ah ! '' cried he, ' ' where is that wretch, 
Lord Brian? Am I to fight with all his 
family before I meet with him?" 

Sir Plenorius wasted no words. He 
rushed upon Sir Brune and struck him 
with his long spear. The blow broke Sir 
Brune's helmet, and he had much trouble 
to guard his head with his shield. He 
fought courageously, but he became 
weaker and weaker. Then Sir Plenorius 
stopped fighting. 

"I know you will never yield," he said. 
"You are the bravest knight I have yet 
seen. In truth, I loved your good father, 
and grieved because my cousin slew him. 
I have no love for my cousin. Lord Brian 
of the Isles, but I am vowed to fight for 
him as long as he lives, or until I am over- 

Sir Brune was about to answer, but he 
fell back in a swoon. Sir Plenorius lifted 
him gently in his arms and bore him into 
the castle. He carried him up the wind- 
ing stairs to the turret room, and gently 


Lance/Tz/isiid him on a bed. Then he went back 
"^^^r to the courtyard. 

..- ^^^ Meantime, Sir Lancelot, hearing the 
y porter shout that Sir Brune was killed, 

beat on the gate, but nobody would let 
him in. Then with great difficulty he 
climbed the castle wall and leaped down. 
Sir Plenorius was just about to care for 
the horse of Sir Brune. 

''Give me back my friend!'' cried Sir 
Lancelot, fiercely. ' 'Where is my friend ?'' 

Then he began to fight with Sir Ple- 
norius. Sir Plenorius was so much larger 
than Sir Lancelot that he thought he 
could easily overcome him. As the fight 
went on, however, he found himself all 
but defeated. 

"Yield now to me,'* said Sir Lancelot. 
"I am Sir Lancelot of the Lake.** 

Then Sir Plenorius said: 

"Ah, my good lord, I know of your 
fame. If we go on fighting, you will 
certainly kill me. Yet I do not want to 
yield, so I ask you to treat me as I have 
treated Sir Brune.'* 

When Sir Lancelot heard how Sir 
Plenorius had spared Sir Brune, he said: 

aim 1^ ftirfgl^tg ^ 189 

** You are a gentle knight I am sorry ^^^^^^ 
you are vowed to the service of Lord tf«^-S/> 


Brian of the Isles. He shall surely 

Sir Plenorius answered: 

"When he is dead, I will come to 
Arthur's Court as one of his followers." 

All this time Sir Brune was lying in 
a swoon on the bed in the turret room. 
But at last he came to himself and looked 
about him. He saw near him his sword 
and shield; so he lifted them up beside 
him. As he lay still, trying to recover 
his strength, he heard stealthy footsteps 
coming up the turret stairs. They came 
nearer and nearer. Suddenly, in rushed 
Lord Brian of the Isles. He knew that 
Sir Brune was there, alone and wounded, 
and he intended to kill him as he lay 
defenseless. Sir Brune understood this 
and he cried: 

'Ah, wretch, you were ever a coward. 
You come to kill me as I lie wounded 
here, just as you killed my poor father 
while he slept But the sight of you 
makes me forget my wounds." 

At these words, and at the fierce rage 


190 -^ fedtg girti^ttr 

5/r which shone in Sir Bnine's eyes, Lord 

and Sir Brian, who was indeed a coward, tried to 

Brune ^^^^^^j^ g^^ gjj. Biune sptahg to the 


**You shall never go down by these 
stairs, villain,'' he said, *'for I will kill 
you ! " 

Lord Brian rushed to the window and 
sprang out upon the battlements. Sir 
Brune followed him, though with diffi- 
culty. The two began to fight, and Sir 
Brune soon saw that his enemy was try- 
ing to push him close to the edge of the 
battlements, that he mi^fet fall down into 
the courtyard below. 

Sir Brune, at this, put himself behind 
Lord Brian, determined to cast him off 
instead. Slowly he pushed him, until 
Lord Brian was but a step from' the edge. 
Then Sir Brune lifted his shield and 
struck his enemy with it. The wicked 
lord lost his footing, and was dashed to 
pieces at the feet of Sir Lancelot and Sir 
Plenorius in the courtyard below. 

They ordered his soldiers to bury him, 
and while Sir Lancelot went to care for 
Sir Brune, Sir Plenorius went down the 

anP i^g »nf(fttg s 


from thv . 


Lancelot 5^1 to find the damscl Elinor. She came 
^^Bruif^^^^ with tears of joy to Sir Brune. 

When Sir Brune was well enough to 

y travel, he visited all the castles of Lord 

Brian, in search of his lost mother. He 
was very much afraid that she was dead, 
but at last he found her alive, in the very 
castle which had belonged to his father. 
There was great joy at their meeting. 
He took her to Arthur's Court, whither 
Sir Lancelot had already conducted the 
damsel Elinor. A few days afterward 
Sir Brune and the damsel were married 
amid great festivities. 

and pg fewiQi^tig Bc 


IN Arthur's Court, every knight or lady 
who was found unworthy was ban- 
ished; yet it often took some time to dis- 
cover one's real character. 

One of the ladies of Arthur's Court 
•was named Vivien. She was very pretty, 
and as graceful as a willow wand, and 
so bright and attractive in her ways 
that no one suspected her of being very 

Among Arthur's bravest warriors was 
King Pellenore. He had once had a great 
fight with Arthur, but after that they had 
become friends, and King Pellenore had 
been made a Knight of the Round Table. 
He was not often at court, for he spent 
much of his time seeking for adventures. 




194 ^ Mm Slrtl^tit 

TAe Now and then he would return and put 
ture of away his armor. Then he rode with the 
Peu^- ladies or talked to the other knights. 
^''''^ The lady Vivien admired King Pelle- 
nore for his valor and his mighty deeds, 
and whenever she could she talked with 
him about his adventures. One after- 
noon she begged him to go for a long 
ride with her through the forest. So 
their horses were brought and they set 
forth. Just as they were passing a thick 
part of the wood, a beautiful golden- 
haired lady stepped out. 

''Good sir knight,'' she cried to King 
Pellenore, ' ' I ask your help. I am here 
in the wood with the dear lord who is to 
be my husband. He is sore wounded, for 
an enemy crept up behind him as we 
were riding to Arthur's Court, and thrust 
a sword in his back." 

Then King Pellenore turned his horse's 
head toward the maiden. 

'* Gladly will I help," he said; ''lead 
me, maiden." 

But Vivien called him back. 

' ' Do not go with her, " she said. ' ' She 
may be a witch. Ride on with me." 

aim l^ig fetrtgl^tig ^ 195 

"She is no witch, but a good maiden," ^;^^^. 
said King Pellenore. tur^ of 

Then the golden-haired lady spoke p^i^e- 
again. "Oh, sir knight, help me ! I must *^^ 
go to Arthur's Court to see my father. 
My dear lover is going to ask permission 
to marry me. Help us or he will die." 

"Assuredly I will help you, damsel," 
said King Pellenore. 

Vivien held his arm, but he put her 
gently aside. When the wicked woman 
saw that he was going to leave her, she 
made her horse plunge and throw her to 
the ground. There she lay as if in a 

King Pellenore did not know what to 
do. He felt as if he must help the beau^ 
tiful lady, and yet he could not leave 
Vivien. So he said : 

"Fair damsel, you shall have my help. 
I have never wanted "to aid any one so 
much as I do you. I must save your lover 
and bring you both to Arthur's Court. 
But let me first ride back with this lady 
who has swooned. Then I will return 
here to you." 

"Alas, alas, I fear it will be too late," 


Adven- ^^^^^ ^^^ damscl, tumitig back into the 
tureof forest. 

/>///£ Then King Pellenore lifted Vivien on 
her horse, and tied her to its back by her 
long green scarf. At this she opened 
her eyes and groaned, and said that she 
was very sick. She made him ride very 
slowly to the court. 

King Pellenore did not talk to her. 
He was thinking all the time of the 
golden-haired maiden. As soon as he 
reached the city gate he gave Vivien over 
into the care of a knight who was pass- 
ing, and galloped back to the woods. 

When he reached the spot where the 
beautiful damsel had spoken to him, he 
timed into the thick part of the wood 
and followed a narrow path. It was so 
narrow that the branches of the trees on 
both sides struck his shoulders, but still 
he hurried on. The path ended in a 
glade, and there he saw the lady and her 
lover lying on the grass. 

'*Alas, alas!** the lady said, **my dear 
lord is dead and I am dying.*' 

Then King Pellenore saw that the fair 
young knight who lay on the ground 


ann l^g ixniQfyt^ ^ 197 

was very pale and quiet, and that all the ^^^^ 
grass about was blood-stained. ^r^ ^ 

' 'Ah, good knight, ' ' said the lady, ' * after pT/f^- 
you left me, a lion ran out of the wood '''"^^ 
and slew my lover with one stroke of his 
paw. He has wounded me so sorely that 
I too shall die." 

Then King Pellenore wept. 

"I wish that I had made Vivien wait 
here," he said, "and had helped you. I 
fear I have done wrong." 

He sat down and took her golden head 
on his knee, and spoke to her gently till 
she died. Then he put her body and her 
lover's body on his horse, and walked be- 
side them sorrowfully until he reached 
Arthur's Court. 

Near the great hall he met Arthur and 
Merlin and several knights. 

"I am a miserable man," he said. 

Then the wise Merlin said : ** You are 
more miserable than you know. This 
beautiftd lady was your own daughter 
who was stolen from you as a child. 
Only lately she learned who her father 
was. She was coming here to seek you." 

Then King Pellenore wept loudly. 


198 -g jittna gttftnt 


Adve^n- ''This is my punishment/' he cried, 

tureof **for not aiding the maiden. The one 

PeTd- who needs help most should be given it 

first, and she needed it more than Vivien. 

I am indeed punished.'* 

''And you shall be punished yet more," 
said Merlin ; ''and in good time, Vivien 
also for the part she took. Some day the 
friend whom you most trust shall deceive 
you, and you shall be betrayed to death." 

King Pellenore bowed his head meekly. 

"I have deserved it," he said. "And 
now I must bury my dear child and her 

The beautiful golden-haired lady and 
her lover were buried with great mourn- 
ing, and it was many a day before King 
Pellenore cared to seek for adventures. 

mh m^ HxtdQfyt^ ^ 

SIR LANCELOT was acknowledged 
by all the knights of the Round 
Table to be the bravest of their number, 
and the one whom the king loved most. 
He was not often at court, because he 
was nearly always engaged in adventures 
which took him away from the town of 
Camelot. The knights were always sorry 
when he went away, yet they were sure 
he would return safely and with much to 
tell them. 

One day Sir Lancelot called his nephew 
Sir Lionel, and told him to mount his 
horse, for they must go to seek adven- 
tures. Sir Lionel was very glad, for it 

was a great honor to be chosen as a 



: 200 ^ Mng 9lrtl)ttr 

.ilanceiot companioii by Sir Lancelot. They rode 
^ ^^^ off through a deep forest, and then across 
a wide, treeless plain. The sun was shin- 
ing hot and bright, and when they reached 
a clump of trees, Sir Lancelot bade Sir 
Lionel dismount. Then the two sat in 
the shade to rest. 

It was not long before Sir Lancelot fell 
asleep. While Sir Lionel kept guard, he 
saw three knights furiously pursued by 
another knight, who was very large. This 
knight overtook the three knights, one 
after another, and overthrew them, and 
bound them by the reins of their bridles. 
Sir Lionel, who was young and self-confi- 
dent, thought that he would like to fight 
with this knight. So he mounted his 
horse very quietly without waking his 
uncle, and rode into the plain. 

When the big knight saw him coming, 
he laughed and rode up quickly. At the 
very first stroke, young Sir Lionel fell to 
the earth. The strong knight bound him 
fast to the other three knights and drove 
them all to his castle. There he took off 
their armor and clothes, and beat them 
with thorny sticks. After that he threw 

anti ^i^ jfenfgi^tg g^ 201 


them into a deep dungeon where there f^^^^^^^ 
were many other knights. and His 

Meanwhile Sir Hector, the foster father ^^^^ ^ 
of King Arthur, hearing that Sir Lance- 
lot and Sir Lionel had gone in search of 
adventures, determined to join them ; so 
he rode hastily in pursuit. When he had 
gone some distance through the forest, 
he met a wood-cutter, and asked him if he 
had seen Sir Lancelot and Sir Lionel. 
The man replied that he had not. 

"Then do you know of any adventure 
which I can seek?'* asked Sir Hector. 

The man answered : 

**Sir, a mile from here is a strong 
castle. On one side of it is a large stream, 
and by that stream a large tree. At the 
foot of the tree is a basin of copper. 
Go and strike on that three times with 
your spear and you will meet with an 

' ' Thank you heartily, *' said Sir Hector. 

He rode on and soon came to the tree. 
Hanging on it were a great many shields, 
and among them Sir Lionel's. There 
were also shields which belonged to other 
Knights of the Round Table. Sir Hector 


202 "^ Mng %x^vix 

Lancelot ^^^^ that the knights must be prisoner3, 
w^j and he grew very angry. 

He struck sharply on the copper basin, 
and at once a huge knight appeared. 

''Come forward and fight!'* cried the 

''That I will," said Sir Hector. 

' ' But I shall win, " said the knight, ' ' for 
I am the great Sir Turquaine.*' 

Sir Hector had heard of this powerful 
knight whom so many of Arthur's lords 
had tried in vain to overthrow. But he 
was a brave old man, and so he began to 
fight fearlessly. He wounded the big 
knight once, but the knight wounded 
him many times, and at last overcame 
him. He picked Sir Hector up and carried 
him under his right arm into the castle. 

"You are very brave," he said, when 
they had reached the great hall. "You 
are the first knight who has wounded me 
these twelve years. Now I will give you 
your freedom if you will swear to be a 
follower of mine." 

' ' I will never swear that, " said Sir Hec- 
tor ; "I am a follower of King Arthur." 

"I am sorry for that," said Sir Tuf- 

gnu i^fg jfentg]^ti8 s;> 203 

quaine, **for now I must treat you as I i^^^^i^^ 
do all my other prisoners." ^^"^ 

Then he took off Sir Hectors armor 
and clothes, and beat him with the thorny 
stick, and threw him into the dungeon. 
There the old man found Sir Lionel and 
many other knights. 

'*Is Sir Lancelot here?" asked Sir Hec- 
tor, feebly. 

" No,*' said Sir Lionel, and told how he 
had left Sir Lancelot sleeping. 

Then Sir Hector became cheerful. 

''Sir Lancelot will surely find us,'* he 
said, ''and give us our freedom." 

But Sir Lancelot still slept on under 
the tree. Soon four beautiful ladies rode 
by, and, seeing a sleeping knight, dis- 
mounted to look at him. They at once 
recognized him as Sir Lancelot, the 
bravest knight in the land. One of these 
ladies was Morgan le Fay, whom Arthur 
had forgiven for her treachery to him. 
She said to her companions : 

"I will cast a spell over him, and we 
will carry him to my castle. Then, when 
he wakes, we will make him choose one 
of us as his wife." 


204 ■^ Mng %x^vit 

Lancfiot '^^^ othcT three agreed, and Morgan le 
and His Fay cast her spell. Then the four women 
lifted the knight upon his horse and went 
with him to the castle of Morgan le Fay. 
They put the knight in a richly decorated 
chamber and left him. 

In the morning he awoke and won- 
dered where he was. Soon a fair damsel 
entered with food, and he asked her to 
explain how he came to be in that place. 

''Sir, I cannot,'* she said. ''But I can 
tell you this much : you are under a spell. 
In twelve hours the spell will break, and 
perhaps I can help you then.'' 

After the damsel had gone out, the 
four ladies entered. They were clad in 
most beautiful robes. One had on silk 
that looked like the foam of the sea. 
Another had on velvet that seemed like 
moss from the forest. The third wore 
satin that was the color of maple leaves 
in autumn. Morgan le Fay wore a robe 
that looked like a storm-cloud, and her 
diamonds were like stars. 

"Choose one of us for your wife," she 
said, "and you shall be very happy." 

But Sir Lancelot said : 


aim l^g lisniQfyt^ ^ 205 

"Fair ladies, I have no wish to marry, f^^^^^^ 
I would rather fight for my good King and His 
Arthur who needs me." 

At this the ladies were angry. 

''You shall stay here till you choose, 
they S£iid. "And if you will not choose, 
then you shall die in prison." 

They went out, and Sir Lancelot re- 
mained alone all day. At dusk the fair 
damsel came to him. 

"My lord," she said, "the spell is 
broken now, and I can help you. These 
ladies are not kind to me, and I am going 
to run away. I will take you with me on 
one condition." 

" Name it, damsel," he said. 

"I am a kings daughter," she said. 
" My father is King Bagdemagus." 

* ' He is a good man, " Sir Lancelot said. 
"I know him well." 

"My father has been fighting in a 
tournament," said the maiden, "and has 
been overcome, with all his knights. He 
feels very sad. Now, in two days there 
will be another tournament at which he 
must fight. If you help him, he wiU 
surely win and be happy again." 


206 -^ Ifefng %x^vix 

Lancfiot "^ ^'^"^ gladly help him," said Sir 

and His LanCClot. 

Then the damsel bade him walk softly 
with her. She opened twelve great doors 
one after another. Each had a lock with 
a key so heavy that the maiden had to 
use both hands to turn it. At last they 
reached the courtyard, and there she gave 
Sir Lancelot his horse and armor. She 
also mounted a horse, and the two rode 

After riding all night, they came to 
the court of King Bagdemagus. He was 
overjoyed to welcome Sir Lancelot, for 
well he knew that none could overcome 
that good knight in combat. All day 
there was music and dancing and feast- 
ing. Sir Lancelot, however, could not be 
merry. He kept thinking of his nephew, 
Sir Lionel, and wondering where he was. 

On the morning of the tournament 
Sir Lancelot asked King Bagdemagus to 
furnish him with a white shield, because 
he did not want to be known. The king 
did so, and also gave each of the three 
knights who rode with him a shield 
of the same color. Sir Lancelot went 

atiD I^(j8 ^nigfyt^ ^ 207 

with the knights into a little leafy wood f^^^^i^^ 
near the field where the tournament was and His 

. 1 11-1 Friends 

to be held. 

Meanwhile King Bagdemagus rode to 
the tournament with sixty men, and met 
there the king of Northgalis with eighty 
men. They began to fight, and soon 
those on the side of King Bagdemagus 
began to be worsted. Then Sir Lancelot, 
with the three knights, dashed out of the 
little wood and into the thick of the fight. 

No one could stand against Sir Lan- 
celot. One of King Arthur s knights, 
Sir Modred, the brother of Sir Gawain 
and Sir Gareth, was fighting against 
King Bagdemagus. Not knowing who 
Sir Lancelot was, he rushed upon him. 
Sir Lancelot unhorsed him, but would 
not hurt him, because he was a Knight 
of the Round Table. Years afterward he 
was sorry he had not killed him, for Sir 
Modred proved to be a traitor to King 

Sir Lancelot fought so well that, for 
his sake, all the prizes of the tournament 
were given to King Bagdemagus, who 
was greatly rejoiced, and offered large 

2o8 ^ fe(ng attl^ttt 

L ncfue S^^^^ ^^ ^^^ Lancelot, and begged him to 
anii ws be his guest for a time. But Sir Lance- 
lot was so anxious to find out what had 
become of Sir Lionel that he could not 
remain. So the next day he set forth. 

He rode back towards the clump of 
trees where he had fallen asleep while 
Sir Lionel kept watch. On the highway 
he met a damsel riding on a white palfrey. 

** Fair damsel," said Sir Lancelot, *'can 
you tell me of any adventures here- 
abouts? I am Sir Lancelot of the Lake." 

'*Oh, Sir Lancelot," said she, **it is 
indeed fortunate that you have come, 
for there is here a knight named Sir 
Turquaine who has put in prison many 
of the Knights of the Round Table. 
You shall fight with him for the freedom 
of your friends." 

Then she turned her horse, and Sir Lan- 
celot gladly followed her. She brought 
him to the tree on which hung the shields 
of his brother knights. Sir Lancelot let 
his horse drink a little water, and then he 
struck on the iron basin at the foot of the 
tree so fiercely that the bottom fell out. 

No one appeared, however. Then he 

anD Jj^ijS ftnfefttjS s 

struck so 

fell out'' 

2IO -^ 

Mm 9itt^ut 


^eiot ^^d^ ^P t^ ^^ castle of Sir Turquaine. 
i,His^ Near the gate he met the big knight. He 
was on foot, driving his horse before him. 
On the horse lay a knight, securely bound. 
Sir Lancelot recognized him as Sir Ga- 
heris, the brother of Sir Gawain and Sir 

* * Put down the knight, '' said Sir Lance- 
lot. ''Mount and fight." 

' * Gladly, ' ' said Sir Turquaine. ' ' Before 
long you will be sorry for your challenge. *' 

Then the two rode at each other. 
Their horses' feet beat the dust into 
clouds, and they used their swords so 
fiercely that their armor rang continually 
like the clanging of heavy bells. They 
fought until they were breathless, each 
bleeding from many wounds. Then Sir 
Turquaine, leaning on his sword, said : 

' ' By my faith, never have I fought with 
such a strong man before. I admire you, 
and I would be your friend. You fight as 
they say that knight does whom I hate 
most in all this world. If you are not 
that knight, I give you my friendship, 
and shall free all my prisoners for your 

anP I^(j8 fenig]^tj8 s;> 211 

''That is well said/' replied Sir Lance- f^ , , 

J Lancelot 

lot '*Tell me who this knight is whom and His 

1 . 1 ,, Friends 

you hate so much. 

' He is Sir Lancelot of the Lake. For 
hatred of him, I kill or imprison all the 
Knights of the Round Table whom I 
can find/' 

''Then let us begin to fight again," 
said Sir Lancelot, "for I am Sir ^Lancelot 
of the Lake." 

Then they struck at each other furi- 
ously, and soon gave each other so many 
wounds that the ground was covered with 
blood. Sir Turquaine was a brave man, 
but he was not so strong as Sir Lancelot. 
After a long conflict he fell, mortally 
wounded, to the ground. Then Sir Lan- 
celot unlaced his helmet and eased him 
as well as he could till he died. After- 
wards he left Sir Turquaine, and went to 
the porter who held the keys of the castle. 

Sir Lancelot took the keys and un- 
locked the doors of the prison. He led 
the poor knights out into the daylight 
and struck off their chains. Sir Lionel 
and Sir Hector were overjoyed to see that 
their deliverer was indeed Sir Lancelot. 

Sir Each knight found his own armor in the 
an/iiis armory, and his own horse in the stables. 
Friends ^f^^j. ^^^ ^ Servant came with four 

horses laden down with venison, and the 
poor knights, who for a long time had 
had nothing but bread and water, enjoyed 
a good meal. Then Sir Lancelot rode 
away in search of new adventures. 

anP l^tg &irtc^tg Bp 


ONE day in May Queen Guinevere 
invited ten ladies and ten knights 
to ride a-Maying with her the next morn- 
ing in the woods. So at the appointed 
time they assembled, all dressed in green 
silk and green velvet, the color of young 
grass. The knights wore white plumes 
in their helmets, and the ladies wore 
white May -blossoms in their hair. They 
rode oflf very happily, telling the king 
that they would return before noon. 

Now the good King Bagdemagus, for 
whom Sir Lancelot had fought, had a bad 
son named Sir Malgrace. For a long time 
he had wanted to capture the queen and 
carry her off to his castle. He had been 
afraid to try, however, because of her 
large bodyguard. All the young Knights 
of the Round Table liked to ride with 


''^ow Sir 

^^^^^^ her and protect her. They took good 
/saved care of all the ladies of the Court, but 
Queen they loved the queen most. 

When Sir Malgrace heard that the 
queen was out a-Maying with only a few 
knights, and these not fully armed, he 
determined to take her prisoner. So he 
called together eighty men-at-arms and 
a hundred archers, and set out. Soon 
he came upon her and her attendants. 
They were sitting on a little hill, with 
wreaths of flowers and leaves on their 
arms and necks. Before they could rise 
to their feet, Sir Malgrace and his men 
dashed upon them. 

''Traitor!" cried the queen. ''What 
would you do?'' 

"I will carry you to my castle, fair 
queen, '' he said. ' ' And never again shall 
you go free." 

"I will not go with you," said the 

Then the ten knights drew their 
swords and set on the hundred and eighty 
men of Sir Malgrace. They fought so 
well that they overthrew forty. Still, 
they could do little against such num- 

and I^(j8 UniQfyt^ ^ 215 

bers, and soon all were wounded. When ^^ff^^ 
the queen saw this, she cried out : Sfj^^^ 

**Sir Malgrace, do not slay my noble Queen 
knights, and I will go with you. I would 
rather die than cause them further 

The knights said that they wotdd 
rather perish than be prisoners to Sir 
Malgrace. However, upon an order from 
their lord, the archers tied up the wounds 
of the queen's followers, and put them on 
horseback. Then the whole company 
rode slowly towards the castle of Sir 

Sir Malgrace kept close to the queen 
for fear she would escape. Once when 
they were in a thick part of the wood he 
rode ahead to break the branches so that 
they should not strike her face. Then 
the queen whispered to a little maiden 
who rode near her : 

'*If you can do so, slip away from the 
company. You are so small that perhaps 
they will not notice you. Take this ring 
and give it to our greatest knight, Sir 
Lancelot, and pray him to come and res- 
cue me." 

Lane _ . ~ , 


-: _:__ ^^ sir: ^sCirtSd 

-. \L t::.* :e sere 

-ri.*!. >ie r:!'! her 
--^-T* ^ r^riT :: Sir 

sojjcrec Sir 
r ' <^x>i and 
:;;?^ I would 


rather see her safe here again than own ^^^f^^ 
all France." Saved 

He put on his armor and mounted his Queen 
white horse and rode oflF without delay. 
The little maid led him to the place 
where the ten knights had fought with 
the hundred and eighty. From this 
point he traced them by the blood on the 
grass and on the road. At Icist he reached 
the archers. 

' * Turn back, " they said. * * No one may 
pass here." 

''That I will not," said Sir Lancelot. 
** I am a Knight of the Round Table, and 
therefore have the right of way through- 
out the land." 

At that they shot their arrows at him. 
He Wcis wounded with many of them, and 
his white horse was killed. Sir Lancelot 
tried to reach the men, but there were 
so many hedges and ditches in the way 
that he could not. They hastened back 
to tell Sir Malgrace that a knight whom 
they had not succeeded in killing was 
coming to the castle. 

Sir Lancelot tried to walk, but his 
armor was too heavy for him to carry in 


2i8 -^ jfeing artl^ttr 

How Sir his wounded state. He dared not leave 

Lancelot r.ii.-ir i 11 1. 

5az/^// any of it behind, for he would need it all 
Queen in fighting. Just as he was wondering 
what he could do, a carter passed him, 
driving a rough wagon. 

** Carter,*' said Sir Lancelot, '*let me 
ride in your wagon to the castle of Sir 

The carter was amazed, for in that day 
a knight never entered into a cart unless 
he was a condemned man going to be 
hanged. Sir Lancelot, however, did not 
stop to explain. He jumped into the 
cart and told the driver to go quickly. 

Some of the ladies of Queen Guine- 
vere were looking out of their window, 
and one said to her : 

**See, my queen, there is a poor knight 
going to be hanged.'' 

The queen looked out of the window 
and recognized Sir Lancelot by the three 
lions blazoned upon his shield. She was 
overjoyed, and waved him a glad greeting 
as he came up to the castle gate. 

Sir Lancelot beat on the gate with his 
shield, and cried : 

" Come out, false traitor, Sir Malgrace; 

ann l^g ixtiiQfyt^ ^ 219 

come out and fight. If you do not, you ^^j5^ 
will be branded as a coward forever." ^^^^ 

At first Sir Malgrace thought that he Qu^^n 
would keep his gates shut fast and not 
answer the challenge. But in those days 
it was a sign of great cowardice not to 
accept a challenge. Moreover, since Sir 
Lancelot had been able to reach the castle 
in spite of the archers, he was afraid 
other Knights of the Round Table might 
do the same. Then they would besiege 
him and force him to surrender. Still' he 
was afraid to fight. So he went to Queen 
Guinevere and said : 

**Fair queen, remember how I saved 
your ten knights when I could have killed 
them. Now I am sorry I took you pris- 
oner. I beg that you will go to Sir Lan- 
celot and urge him not to fight. Then I 
will entertain him in this castle with the 
best I have, and to-morrow you shcdl ah 
go back to the court." 

Then the queen said : 

*' Peace is always better than war. I 
will do the best I can." 

So she went down to Sir Lancelot, who 
still beat upon the gate, and besought him 

220 •ss 

Mm artl^ttr 

Lancfiot ^^ come in peaceably, for Sir Malgrace 
Saved was sorrj for what he had done. Sir 
Queen Lancelot was unwilling, for he knew that 
Sir Malgrace was a traitor, deserving 
punishment. Still, he could not refuse 
the queen anything she asked him, and, 
therefore, he entered the castle. 

Sir Malgrace greeted him with polite- 
ness, and served to him and to the others 
of Arthur's Court, a great banquet. After 
that, to the surprise of every one, he rose 
and accused the queen of treason. All 
the company was astonished. Sir Lance- 
lot was very angry. 

' ' If you say the queen is a traitress, *' he 
cried, **you shall fight with me, although 
you were afraid just now.'' 

'*I am not afraid to fight/' said Sir 

''When and where will you meet me 
in combat?" asked Sir Lancelot. 

'' In eight days," replied Sir Malgrace, 
'4n the field near Westminster." 

Sir Lancelot agreed to this. Then 
Queen Guinevere rose with all her attend- 
ants and went into the courtyard. Their 
horses were brought them and they 

mounted. Sir Lancelot was the last to ^^^fZ/ 
pass out of the banquet hall. As he was ^-^ 
going through the door he stepped upon qm^^ 
a trap which Sir Malgrace had prepared 
for him. The trapdoor fell and dropped 
him into a dark dungeon. 

When the queen and her knights and 
ladies had ridden out of the courtyard, 
they noticed that Sir Lancelot was not 
with them. They supposed, however, that 
he had ridden oflf by himself, as was often 
his custom, so they went without him to 
Camelot, and told the king what had hap- 
pened. He was very angry at Sir Mai- 
grace's accusation, but he was sure that 
Sir Lancelot would punish Sir Malgrace, 
and so vindicate Queen Guinevere. 

Meantime, the unhappy Sir Lancelot 
lay bruised in the dungeon, feeling very 
sure that Sir Malgrace meant to starve 
him to death. He lay hungrv' and thirsty 
for nearly two da\ s. Then Sir Malgrace 
peeped in to see if he were dead. 

**Ah, traitor:" cried Sir Lancelot. "I 
shall overcome you yet/' 

At that Sir Malgrace shut the trapdoor 
hastily, as if he were afraid that Sir 


222 •SS 

Mng attl^ttr 

How Sir Lancelot could leap up ten feet in the 

Lancelot -i K -T 

Saved air. That one look, however, cost the 
Queen wlcked knight dear, for the daughter of 
the porter saw him shutting the trapdoor, 
and was curious to know who was in the 
dungeon. So at night she opened the 
trapdoor and let herself down by a rope. 

When she saw Sir Lancelot she was 
very sorry for him. He offered her much 
money if she would free him. At last 
she said : 

' ' I will do it for love of Queen Guine- 
vere and not for money.** 

She let him climb up by the rope, and 
took him out of the courtyard. He was 
so sick that he went to a hermit's hut 
and rested for several days. When next 
Sir Malgrace looked into the dungeon he 
heard no movement. Then he rejoiced 
greatly, for he thought Sir Lancelot was 

When the eighth day had come, all the 
Knights of the Round Table assembled 
in the tournament field and waited for 
Sir Lancelot to appear. They all thought 
he would surely come. But Sir Malgrace 
rode jauntily about the field. Many of 


the knights wondered at his courage, not ^^^'f'^' 
knowing the reason for his confidence. Saved 

The herald blew his trumpet once, but Queen 
Sir Lancelot did not appear ; twice, and 
still he did not come. Then up started 
several knights and begged the king to 
let them fight instead of Sir Lancelot. 

"He has been trapped," they said, "or 
he would be here." 

While the king was hesitating whonr 
to choose, in rode Sir Lancelot. He 
dashed up to Sir Malgrace. 

"Here I am, traitor," he said. "Now 
do your worst." 

Then they fought, but at the first 
stroke Sir Malgrace fell to the earth. 

"Mercy!" he cried, "I yield to you. 
Sir Knight. Do not slay me. I put my- 
self in the king s hands and yours." 

Sir Lancelot was much vexed. He 
wanted to kill Sir Malgrace for his 
treachery, and yet, since the man had 
asked for mercy, he could not. So he 

"What, coward, would you stop 
already ? Shame upon you ! Get up and 

^224 ^ Mm ^tt}^nv 

"^^^nceiot '^ shall not rise unless you take me 
Saved as oue who has yielded," answered the 

Queen kulght. 

Then Sir Lancelot said : 

' ' Traitor, I make you this offer : I will 
take off my helmet, unarm my left side, 
and tie my left hand behind my back. In 
that way I will fight with you/' 

Upon hearing this. Sir Malgrace rose 
to his feet, sure now of killing Sir Lan- 

''My lord King,** cried Sir Malgrace, 
''you have heard this offer. I accept.'' 

The king was very sorry that Sir 
Lancelot had made the offer. However, 
it was impossible to withdraw it. A 
squire came and disarmed Sir Lancelot, 
so that his head and left side were with- 
out cover; and since he had only one 
arm to fight with, he could not use his 

Then Sir Malgrace dashed at him, 
aiming for his left side. Sir Lancelot 
waited till he was very near, and then 
lightly stepped aside. Before Sir Mal- 
grace could turn. Sir Lancelot lifted his 
spear and struck his enemy such a blow 

atiD l^fg ^nigfyt^ ^ 225 \ 

that he broke his breastplate and pierced ^^^^f^ 
his heart. .sv??/^^/ 

The body of Sir Malgrace was carried Queen 
off the field and taken to the castle of 
his good father; Queen Guinevere was 
proclaimed innocent of treason ; and Sir 
Lancelot was honored more than ever by 
his king and his queen. 





^%i\\^ arti^ttr 

EVERY year King Arthur's knights 
held a grand tournament among 
themselves, and contended in friendly 
combat for a prize. This prize was a 

Once, in the early days of his king- 
ship, Arthur was w^alking on a craggy 
hill, wdien he came upon the skeleton of 
a man who had once been a ruler. The 
skull still wore a gold crowm set with 
nine large diamonds. King Arthur took 
the crow^n and had the diamonds unset 
Each 3^ ear at the friendly tournament he 
gave one of these diamonds as a prize. 

There had been eight tournaments, 
and at each Sir Lancelot had won the 
diamond. The jewel that was to be given 
as a piize at the ninth tournament was 
the largest and most beautiful of all. 



ant> l^te Ifenigl^tg ^ 227 

Everyone, of course, expected that Sir |'^^^ 
Lancelot would win it, but only a few and 
days before the contest he announced to 
the king that he would not compete. 

Then the queen was vexed, for she 
loved Sir Lancelot more than all the 
other knights, and it gave her great joy 
to see him always successful in the tour- 
naments. Therefore she urged him to 
change his decision. 

** My queen,'' he said, ''I told the king 
I would not fight." 

The queen replied : 

** My advice is that you go in disguise. 
The knights who contest with you do so 
but half-heartedly, for they know your 
great fame and feel sure of failure. If 
they did not know who you were, they 
would fight better and win more glory 
for themselves. Then fight as a stranger 
knight, and afterwards explain to the 

Sir Lancelot took her advice. He rode 
away over the woods and hills till he 
came to the castle of Astolat, where he 
decided to stop and ask for a disguise. 
He knocked on the gate, which was opened 



228 -^ Mng %x^vit 

UJ^^cfiot ^y ^^ ^^^ dumb servant, and entered the 
and courtyard. The lord of Astolat came to 
meet him with his two sons, Sir Torre 
and Sir Lavaine, and his beautiful daugh- 
ter Elaine. The lord of the castle said : 

' ' Fair sir, whoever you are, you are 
welcome. You seem to me much like a 
Knight of the Round Table. " 

' ' That I am, '' said Sir Lancelot. ' 'Here- 
after I will tell you my name ; at present 
I wish to remain unknown. I must enter 
the coming tournament as an unknown 
knight, and I should like to leave with 
you my great shield, for it is as well 
known in Camelot as I. Will you keep 
it and lend me another one?** 

Then answered the Lord of Astolat : 

' ' You may take the shield of my son 
Torre. He was hurt in his first tourna- 
ment, and has not been able to fight since. 
My son Lavaine will gladly go with you 
to the tournament. Perhaps,'* added the 
lord, laughing, ' ' he can win the diamond, 
and put it in his sister Elaine's hair.** 

'* Nay, father, do not make me ashamed 
before this noble knight,** said the young 
Lavaine. '*I know I can never win the 

anDJI^JIngj^sc- 229 


diamond for Elaine, but I can at least do f^„^\i^^ 
my best to fight/' ^^. 

"Gladly will I take you for a compan- 
ion," said Sir Lancelot, ''and if you can, 
win the diamond for this fair maiden." 

''Such a diamond," said Sir Torre, "is 
fit for a queen, and not for a simple girl." 

Sir Lancelot smiled to himself. He 
was sure that he should win the diamond. 
Then he meant to give it with the eight 
others to Queen Guinevere. He spoke 
kindly, however, to the beautiful Elaine. 

"In truth, this fair maiden is fit to be 
a queen." 

Then Elaine lifted her eyes and looked 
at him. He was twice as old as she was. 
His face was cut and scarred with wounds 
which he had received in battle, but as 
she looked at him, she loved him, and 
felt that she would continue to love him 
till the day of her death. 

They went into the great hall where a 
supper was laid. Sir Lancelot talked of 
King Arthur and his goodness and all 
his glorious deeds. Elaine thought that 
even Arthur could not be so brave as 
this wonderful lord. All night long she 

^23o -^ Mng attl^ttt; 

-^^ncfiot dreamed of him. In the morning she 
"' and rose early and went down in the court- 
yard where Sir Lancelot and Sir Lavaine 
were mounting their horses. 

** Fair lord/' she said boldly to Sir Lan- 
celot, '*will you wear my token in your 

Then said Sir Lancelot : 

' ' Fair maiden, I have never worn favor 
nor token for any lady in the tourna- 
ments. This is well known to be my 

''But if you wear my token," she 
said, ''there will be far less likelihood 
of your being known by your fellow 

"That is very true, my child," he said. 
' ' Bring it to me. What is it ? " 

She held it out to him ; it was a red 
sleeve embroidered with pearls. Sir 
Lancelot bound it in his helmet and said: 

"I have never done so much before 
for any maiden." 

Then he and Sir Lavaine bade Elaine 
farewell, and the beautiful maiden ran 
up to the tower of the castle and watched 
them from the window for a long time. 

ant> W ^niQfyt^ i 

near it 
all day 
in the 
turret " 


^L nceiot ^^^^^ they were out of sight she asked 
and the old dumb servant to carry Sir Lan- 
^^^^ celot's shield to the tower. It was a large 
shield of silver, with three lions emblaz- 
oned upon it in gold and blue, but its 
polished surface was covered with dents 
and scratches. Elaine knelt before it, and 
made a story for each scratch and mark, 
picturing to herself the contests in which 
the good shield had taken part. For 
many weeks she stayed near it all day 
long in the turret, watching for Sir Lance- 
lot and her brother to return. 

Meanwhile those two had ridden 
lightly to Camelot, and when they were 
almost there, Sir Lancelot told Sir La- 
vaine his name. The young man was 
astonished. He was very happy, too, to 
think that he was a companion to the 
great knight of whom he had heard so 

When Sir Lancelot and Sir Lavaine 
arrived at the field where the tournament 
was to be held, they stood looking at the 
king, who sat upon the great carved 
chair which had dragons' heads for the 
arms and the back. On his red robe 


ami ^^ iMiqM ^ 233 

was embroidered a golden dragon, and a ^„^^/^^ 
golden dragon was also on his crown. ^. 
Above him, set in a canopy, was the 
ninth diamond. All about the king to 
left and right were rows of ladies whose 
robes gave to the pavilion in which they 
sat the brilliant hues of the rainbow. 

Sir Lancelot said to young Sir Lavaine : 

"Look at the king. You think I am 
great, but he is greater than I. I can 
fight better than he can, but his soul is 
greater than mine. Aim to become a 
Knight of the Round Table, and follow 
the example of goodness which Arthur 
sets for his knights." 

At this moment the trumi)ets blew as 
a signal that the tournament was to be- 
gin. The knights spurred their horses 
forward, and in a moment their spears 
and shields clashed. Sir Lancelot rode 
lightly here and there, overthrowing 
every one with whom he contested. All 
wondered at the skill of this unknown 
knight. Then Sir Lancelot's kinsmen, 
his nephew, Sir Lionel, and others, were 
angry and jealous. 

"Our Sir Lancelot should be here," 



234 ^ Mxv^ ^tt\^vix 

^^ they said, ''to overcome this stranger 
amf knight/' 

'^Perhaps this is Sir Lancelot/' said 
one. ''Two knights cannot fight so well 
in this world. It must be Sir Lancelot/' 

'* No, no," said the others; "Sir Lance- 
lot would never wear a lady's favor, and 
this knight wears a red sleeve embroid- 
ered with pearls. Let us set on this man 
and teach him that if Sir Lancelot is not 
here, we, his kinsmen, will fight for his 

Then all together they bore down on 
Sir Lancelot. His horse went down in 
the shock, and he himself was wounded. 
A spear had pierced his breastplate and 
snapped off in his side. 

Young Sir Lavaine rushed to help Sir 
Lancelot. The great knight rose slowly 
and, with the help of his friend, drove 
back his kith and kin to the far side of 
the field. Then sounded a great blare of 
trumpets, and the king proclaimed the 
stranger knight victor. 

'Xome forward," the herald cried, 
* ' and take your diamond." 

But poor Sir Lancelot said : 

atiD l^(g ixnigfyt^ ^ 235 

"Talk not to me of diamonds. Give f^^^^i^^ 
me air. I fear me I have received my and 
death wound. Let me go hence, and I 
bid you follow me not." 

Sir Lavaine helped him upon his horse, 
and they two rode slowly off the field. 
When they were near the neighboring 
forest the great knight fell from his 
horse and cried : 

*'Pull forth the spear-head which is in 
my side.'' 

''Oh, my lord,'* said Sir Lavaine, ''I 
am afraid you will die if I draw it forth.'' 

''I shall die if you leave it," said Sir 

So Sir Lavaine drew it forth quickly, 
causing Sir Lancelot to faint from the 
pain. Then a hermit who lived near by 
came to them, and bore the wounded 
knight into his hut, where for many a 
week Sir Lancelot lay between life and 

When Arthur found that the unknown 
knight had gone, no one knew whither, 
he was sorry. He called the light-hearted 
Sir Gawain and said to him : 

'* Go forth, take this diamond and seek 


236 ^ Mm ^ttlnnv 

Lancf/% *^^ stranger knight. Do not cease from 
and your search till you have left the diamond 

Elaine . 1.1 1 *> 

m his hand. 

Then Arthur went to the queen. She 
had been ill and had not attended the 
tournament. When the king told her all 
that had happened, she cried : 

' 'A stranger knight ! My lord, my lord ! 
That was our dear Sir Lancelot. He was 
fighting in disguise.'' 

''Alas! he is hurt/' said the king. 
"Perhaps he is dying. He said that he 
would not fight. He should have told 
me that he meant to fight in disguise. 
The truth, my queen, is always best." 

"Yes, my good lord, I know it," she 
said. " If I had but let our Lancelot tell 
the truth, perhaps he would not have 
been wounded. You would have called 
on his kinsmen to cease." 

For many days the king and Guine- 
vere waited in deep anxiety for news of 
Sir Lancelot. Meantime, Sir Gawain 
rode forth and sought for the great 
knight in vain. At last he came to the 
castle of Astolat, where he was welcomed 
by the lord and Sir Torre and the fair 

Elaine. He told them the result of the f^^^^i^^ 
tournament, and how the stranger knight ^^^. 
had won. They showed him Sir Lance- 
lot's shield. 

'*Ah!'' said Elaine, when he had told 
them the name of the unknown knight, 
**I knew that he must be great. *' 

Sir Gawain guessed by the expression 
of her beautiful face that she loved Sir 
Lancelot. So he said : 

' ' Fair maiden, when he returns here 
for his shield, give him this diamond, 
which is the prize he won. Perhaps he 
will prize it the more because you put it 
into his hand." 

Then Sir Gawain bade them farewell 
and rode off, lightly singing. When he 
told Arthur what he had done, the king 
said : 

''You should have done as I bade you, 
Gawain. Sir Lancelot deceived me about 
his disguise, and you have disobeyed me. 
The kingdom will surely fail if the king 
and his rules are not honored. Obedience 
is the courtesy due to kings." 

Meanwhile the fair Elaine went to her 
father and said : 


238 ^ Mm ^vt\iuv 

LanJiot *'Dear father, let me go and seek the 
and wounded Sir Lancelot and my brother/' 

' ' Nay / ' said the lord, ' ' it is not a fitting 
thing for a young maiden like ypu to seek 
a wounded knight. He is not your lover. 
It cannot be.'' 

"I would give him his diamond," she 
said, * ' and since he is so sorely wounded, 
I would take care of him. It is not fitting, 
my father, but I cannot live unless I 
know where he is and how he does." 

Then, because he loved his child very 
much and had never refused any request 
she made of him, the old lord let her go 
in care of Sir Torre. The two rode for a 
long time, until at last, near Camelot, 
they met Sir Lavaine. Elaine ran up to 
him and cried : 

'* Lavaine, take me to Sir Lancelot." 

Sir Lavaine was much astonished that 
Elaine knew the name of the stranger 
knight. He was glad to see her, because 
he thought she could help his friend. Sir 
Lancelot seemed glad to see her, too, and 
the beautiful maiden cared for him so 
tenderly that the old hermit said he never 
could have recovered without her nursing. 


anH l^(g limiQfyt^^ 239 

When he was well enough, they all rode f^^^^^^^ 
to the castle of Astolat. and 

There Sir Lancelot remained for a few 
days; then he took his shield and prepared 
to return to Camelot. Before he went he 
asked Elaine if he could not do something 
for her in return for her care of him. 

She grew very pale and then she said: 

** I am going to say something which I 
should not. I love you. Take me with 
you to Camelot." 

Sir Lancelot said very gently: 

" My poor little maiden, if I had meant 
to take a wife, I should have wedded 
earlier. All the court knows that I love 
only the king and the queen. You do not 
really love me. Some day you will marry 
a young knight, and then I shall give you 
many castles and much land as a dowry." 

"I will have nothing of all that," said 

She turned away and climbed up to 
the tower, while her father said to Sir 
Lancelot : 

"I pray you, be discourteous in some 
way so that she will cease to love you. 
Such love is madness." 


240 ^ Mti^ gtrtl^ur 

Lancelot '^^ ^^ ^^* ^y habit to be discourte- 
w ous, ' ' said Sir Lancelot. ' ' However, when 
she stands at the turret window to wave 
me farewell, I will not look up at her." 

Sir Lancelot rode sadly away, and did 
not look up at the window where Elaine 
stood. She watched him till he disap- 
peared, and then she fell in a swoon. Day 
after day she pined away, and one morn- 
ing she said to her father : 

* * Dear father, I am going to die. When 
I am dead, take my bed and cover it with 
rich draperies. Then dress me in my 
most beautiful clothes; put a letter I 
have here in my hand, and lay me on 
the bed. Set it on a barge, and let our 
dumb servant steer it down the river to 

Her father wept, and promised to do 
all that she asked. 

Sir Lancelot had gone to the Court, 
where he was received with great rejoic- 
ing. For many days the knights and 
ladies held great feasting in his honor, 
and the king and the queen would hardly 
allow him to leave their presence. One 
day while the three stood looking out of 


anp l^(g ftn(fi]^tg s:> 241 

the palace window, they saw a ^^^^^ i^^ceiot 
barge come slowly down the river. ^nd 

It stopped at the palace door, and the 
king, going down, saw on it the beautiful 
maiden Elaine, pale in death. She was 
dressed in white satin, and bore a lily in 
her left hand and a letter in her right. 
The king ordered two of his knights, the 
good Sir Galahad and Sir Perceval, to 
carry Elaine into his great hall. Then 
Arthur read the letter, which said : 

"Most noble lord. Sir Lancelot of the 
Lake: I, Elaine, the maid of Astolat, 
come to take my last farewell of you, for 
you left me without a farewell. I loved 
you, and my love had no return, and so I 

The knights and ladies wept. Sir 
Lancelot said to Arthur : 

''My King, I grieve for the death of 
this maiden, but as I did not love her, I 
could not wed her." 

The king answered : 

"You are not to blame. Sir Lancelot. 
The world has in it much that is sad as 
well as much that is joyous. There are 
happenings for which no human being 


^/': can be blamed. It would be a fitting 

Laticelot ^ ^ ^ .^ -1-11. .-1 

and deed, however, if you had this maiden 
' '"''"^ richly buried/' 

Sir Lancelot ordei;ed a splendid fu- 
neral, such as should be given to a queen. 
Over Elaine's grave was raised a beauti- 
ful tomb on which was carved her figure, 
with the left hand holding a lily ; at her 
feet lay the shield of Sir Lancelot, and 
the sad story of her death was written 
on the tomb in letters of gold and blue. 

anp f(g fenigl^tg B;- 

rtHE 3£ARCH FC»& Tili I 


IN Arthur's Court there were many vir- 
tuous knights and ladies, but the best 
of all was a beautiful maiden, sister to 
Sir Perceval. She was so good that the 
evil in the world oppressed her, and she 
could be happy only when she was pray- 
ing for all people to be made better. 

Once a good old man told her what 
was meant by the Holy Grail. 

''Grail,'' he said, '4s the word for the 
cup out of which, our Lord Jesus drank, 
the night that he held the last supper 
with his disciples. Therefore, it is called 
holy. There is a tradition which says 
that for a long time after the death of 
Christ the Holy Grail remained on earth, 
and any one who was sick and touched 
it was healed at once. But then people 


244 ^ jKfttg artl^ttt; 

Sear% grew to be so wicked that it disappeared 
Ar M^ from earth. It is said that if a person in 
GrJi our day were only .good enough, he could 
see the Holy Grail/' 

"Really see it?*' asked the maiden, 
eagerly, *'or see it in a vision?'* 

''I do not know,'' answered the good 
old man, ''but either one would be a great 
happiness. For a real sight of it, or a 
vision, would show the person who saw 
it that he was sinless." 

Then the beautiful maiden prayed 
more than ever. She became so thin and 
pale that it seemed as if she were, almost 
transparent, and at last she lay dying. 
One morning she sent for her brother. 
Sir Perceval, and for his friend, Sir 

Sir Perceval and Sir Galahad were the 
two best knights in Arthur's Court. They 
were not so powerful as Sir Lancelot or 
Sir Geraint or Sir Gareth, but they had 
purer souls than these. When they came 
to the bedside of the maiden, she said : 

' ' Oh, my brother and my friend, I have 
seen the Holy Grail. Last night I was 
awakened by a sound like the music of a 

and l^(g limiQfytfi ^ 245 

silver horn across the hills. It was more ^^^^ 
beautiful music than any I have ever /^^^ 
heard. Then through my window shone Gr^7 
a long cold beam of silver light, and 
slowly across that beam came the Holy 
Grail. It was red like a beautiful rose, 
and the light reflected from it covered all 
the walls with a rosy color. And then 
it vanished. Now I beg you to seek it ; 
and go to the hall of Arthur and tell all 
the other knights to take the quest. If 
they can but see the Grail, it will be a 
sign that they are good, and that the 
world is growing better." 

As she spoke. Sir Galahad's face wore 
an expression so like her own that Sir 
Perceval was amazed. But the maiden 
took from the side of her bed a sword-belt, 
and gave it to Sir Galahad. 

' ' Fair knight, " she said, ' ' I have made 
this golden belt of my hair, and woven 
on it, in crimson and silver thread, the 
device of the Holy Grail. Put on this 
belt, bind your sword to it, and go forth ; 
for you, too, shall see the Holy Grail." 

Then Sir Galahad and Sir Perceval 
went away quietly, for they saw that the 

246 ^ JK(ng artl^ttt 

Selr% t>eautiful maiden had not long to live. 

for the That night they went to Arthur's hall. 
GrJi The king was absent with the queen, but 
most of the Knights of the Round Table 
were there, and to them Sir Galahad and 
Sir Perceval told the vision that Sir Per- 
ce vaFs sister had seen. 

As they spoke, suddenly the torches 
in the hall were extinguished ; there was 
a loud sound like thunder and a sudden 
cracking of the roof. Then a beam of 
light, seven times stronger than day, 
streamed into the room. Across the beam 
stole the Hol}^^ Grail. But it was covered 
by a luminous cloud, so that its shape 
could not be seen. Slowly it vanished 

There was silence in the hall for a 
long time ; the knights were awe-struck 
and could not speak. At last Sir Per- 
ceval rose in his seat and said in a low 

' * My sister saw the vision of the Holy 
Grail, but I, because I am more sinful, 
have seen it covered with a cloud. Yet 
because I wish to see it, I vow to spend 
twelve months and a day in search of it. 

anti l^(g jKn(g]^tg s;> , 247 

I will pray, and live as holy a life as I can, ^/^^^ 
and perhaps this vision will be mine/' for the 

Then good Sir Bors, the cousin of Sir clati. 
Lancelot, made the same vow, as did 
also Sir Galahad and Sir Lancelot and Sir 
Gawain and many others. After the vows 
had been taken, King Arthur entered. 
When all had been explained to him, his 
face grew sorrowful. 

"If I had been here," he said, '*I 
should not have allowed you to swear 
the vow. None of you really saw the 
Grail; you say it was covered with a 

Then Sir Galahad cried out : 

" My King, I saw the Grail, all crimson 
like a ruby, and I heard a voice which 
said, 'O Galahad, O Galahad, follow 

"Ah, Galahad," said the king, ten- 
derly, "you are fit for this quest, this 
search, but the others are not. Sir Lan- 
celot is our strongest warrior, but he is 
not like Sir Galahad. Most of you, my 
knights, are men with strength and will 
to right wrongs ; that is the work you are 
fitted for. You have fought in twelve 

248 ^ Mm 9ivtiim 

SelJch 2^^^* battles with the heathen, but only 
for the one of you is fit for this holiest of visions. 
GrJi Yet go, and fulfill your vow." 

The faces of the knights were down- 
cast. The king continued : 

"While you are gone, I shall need 
your strength here at home, but you will 
be following a wandering fire. Many of 
you will never return.'* 

All the company felt sad. The next 
day when the knights departed upon 
their quest, the king could hardly speak 
for grief, and many of the knights and 
ladies wept. Those who had sworn the 
vow went together to the great gate of 
the city of Camelot, and there they sepa- 

During the next twelvemonth many 
a poor laborer who had been wronged 
came to Arthur's Court to find a knight 
who would fight for him, and many a 
poor widow and maiden. But because 
so many of the Knights of the Round 
Table were absent there was little help 
to be had, and Arthur's face grew sadder 
and sadder as time went on. 

At last, after the twelvemonth and the 

anP ^ifi Ifeirtgl^tg ^ 249 

day had passed, those in Camelot began J^^^^ 
to look for the return of the knights who ^^/^^ 
had taken the vow. Alas, though they Gra/i 
waited all day long, only Sir Gawain, 
Sir Bors, Sir Perceval, and Sir Lancelot 
returned. In the evening the Knights 
of the Round Table assembled in the 
great hall. When each was seated, the 
king rose, and said to those who had 
been upon the quest : 

'*My lords, I need only look at your 
faces to know that you have fared ill. 
I dare not think of those of you who have 
not come back. And now, Perceval, my 
knight who, next to Galahad, has the 
purest soul, tell me what has happened 
to you." 

Sir Perceval rose slowly from his chair 
and said : 

*'Dear my liege, when I left your 
court on the sad morning that we all set 
forth, I did not feel the grief that many 
of the other knights felt. I had been 
fighting so well, so many lances had gone 
down before my stroke, that I was full 
of confidence in what I could do. 

''I rode happily, planning all the great 

TAe victories I should win. I was sure if I 


for the righted a great many wrongs, I should 
GrJi soon see the Grail. But after many days 
I began to grow weary. I was riding 
through rough forests, and the branches 
bruised me and my horse ; there seemed 
to be no great deeds to do. I could not 
even slay wild beasts, and so be of use 
to the poor country people. My bed was 
on the hard ground, and my food was 
wild berries. 

* * One day I came to a great castle, and 
here I decided to rest. When I entered, 
I was warmly greeted and brought to the 
princess of the castle. I found her to be 
one whom I had loved long. ago in her 
father s court. I was but a young squire 
and she was a great princess, and so I 
had gone away without telling her how 
dear I held her. 

''She greeted me kindly, and after a 
time she began to love me. Soon I won- 
dered whether I was fit to see the Holy 
Grail. I thought perhaps I was one of 
those who were pursuing a wandering 
fire. And then the people of the castle 
begged me to marry their princess, and 

anDJIgJMgJ^^ 251 

be their lord and live a happy and easeful ^^^^ 
life. ^r/'^ 


' * One night I awoke, and thought long- Graa 
ingly of the Holy Grail. Whether I were 
fit to see the vision or not, I had at least 
sworn to seek it for a year and a day. 
And yet, 1 had not tried two months ! 
I rose hastily, dressed, and left the cas- 
tle. Then for many days I prayed 
and mourned. At last I sought a holy 
hermit, and told him all I had done 
and thought since I had left Arthur's 

' ' The good hermit, after a short silence, 
said : ' My son, you have not true humil- 
ity. You have been too proud of your 
strength, and too sure in the beginning 
that you were fit for the vision. You 
have always thought first of yourself and 
your own glory, and not of the good you 
could do.' 

"I went into the chapel of this hermit, 
and prayed to be relieved of the sin of 
pride. As I prayed, Sir Galahad entered. 
He was clad in silver armor, and his face 
looked like that of an angel. 

'' ' Oh, my brother,' he said, 'have you 

Se^cA ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ Grail?' And after I had 

/ortAe answered, he said : 

Gr^at/ '' 'From the moment when I left the 
court of our king, the vision has been with 
me. ^ It is faint in the daytime, but at night 
it shines blood red. I see it on the moun- 
tains, and in the lakes, and on the marshes. 
It has made me so strong that everywhere 
I am able to do good. I have broken 
down many evil customs. I have fought 
with pagan hordes and been victor, all 
because of this blessed vision. Perceval, 
I have not long to live. I am going to 
the great city above, which is more beau- 
tiful than any earthly city. Come out 
with me this night, and before you die 
you shall see this vision. ' 

''Then I followed Sir Galahad out of 
the chapel. We climbed a hill which was 
steep and rugged. Sir Galahad going first, 
and his silver armor guiding me. When 
we came to the top, a storm broke over us, 
and the lightning seemed to follow us as 
we descended the hill on the other side. 
At the bottom of it there was a great 
black swamp, leading to the sea. It was 
crossed by a huge bridge built by some 

anP W Jfentgl^tg Bp 

254 ^ ^im ^Vtl9UV 

Se^J'ch forgotten king. Here Sir Galahad left 

for the me and ran over the bridge till he reached 

GrJi the sea. His armor shone like a star, far 

away at the edge of the water. And then 

I saw him no more. 

' * I knelt on the black ground and wept, 
and wished that I were as good as Sir 
Galahad, and could do deeds as he did, 
not to win glory, but to help those who 
needed help. And as I wept, I was aware 
of a great light over me. I looked up and 
. saw a silver beam, and across it slowly 
moved the Holy Grail. It was no longer 
muffled in a cloud, but shone crimson as 
a ruby. 

''I made my way back to the chapel 
and prayed all the rest of the night. In 
the morning I found Sir Galahad's body 
by the sea. He was beautiful as a saint, 
though he was worn and thin from long 
self-sacrifice. I buried him and then 
turned my steps to Camelot. 

''And now, my lord Arthur, I shall 
never fight again. I shall become a 
monk and pass my life in prayer as my 
sister did. Among my brother monks, 
there will be very many little deeds of 

service I can do. Thus will I spend my Jj^/^^;^ 
life." f^r^the 

All the knights were very much moved Graii 
and the king looked affectionately at Sir 
Perceval, but he did not speak to him. 
He turned to Sir Gawain and said : 

''Sir Gawain, was this quest for you?'' 

Then Sir Gawain, always light-hearted 
and easily turned away from one thing 
to another, said : 

** Nay, my King, such a search is not 
for one like me. In a little time I became 
tired. I talked to a holy man who told 
me that I was not fit for such a vision. 
So I journeyed till I came to a field with 
silk pavilions and very many knights and 
ladies. And with them I lived happily 
for the year." 

The good king looked displeased, but 
his face grew tender as he turned to Sir 

''Bors," he said, ''good, faithful, and 
honest you have ever been. Tell me 
what you have seen." 

Sir Bors, who stood near Sir Lancelot, 

"My lord Arthur, after I had started 

256 -^ Mng artl^ttt; 

e, ^^f on the quest, I was told that madness had 

Search - -- ^ - . o.. x -i 

/^rM^ fallen upon my kinsman, Sir Lancelot. 
GrJi This so grieved me that I had but little 
heart to seek for the Holy Grail. Yet I 
sought for it. I believed that if God 
meant me to see the vision he would 
send it. 

* ' I traveled till I came to a people who 
were heathen. They knew much of 
magic, but nothing of God. I stayed 
with them, and tried to teach them our 
faith, but they were angry because I 
would not believe in their gods, and they 
put me into prison. 

' ' I was there many months in darkness 
and cold. But I tried to be patient, and 
prayed that my patience would count for 
something, although I could not do any 
good deeds. I had at least been faithful 
though I failed. 

''One night a stone slipped from my 
prison wall, and I could see a space of 
sky, with seven stars set across it. Then 
slowly across the space glided the Holy 
Grail. My happiness was great, for I had 
seen the vision. 

''The next morning, a maiden who 

had been secretly converted to our relig- ^^^^ 
ion released me from prison, and I came ^^/^ 
hither." Grai/ 

Then the king spoke to Sir Lancelot. 

*' My Lancelot, the mightiest of us all, 
have you succeeded in this quest?" 

Then Sir Lancelot groaned. 
* ' O, King ! " he cried, ' ' your mightiest, 
yes ; and yet, far better it would be if I 
were like Sir Galahad. A great sin is on 
my soul, and it was to be rid of this sin 
that I undertook the quest of the Holy 
Grail. A hermit told me that, only by 
putting this sin away should I ever see 
the vision. I strove so hard against it 
that my old sickness came upon me. I 
became mad, and rode up and down 
among waste places, fighting with small 
men who overthrew me. The day has 
been when the very sound of my name 
would have made them tremble. 

''At last I came to the sea and saw a 
boat anchored near the shore. I stepped 
into it, loosed the anchor, and floated 
away. For seven days I sailed, and at 
last I came to an old castle. I entered 
and heard a voice singing. I followed it 


258 ^ Mm artl^ttr 

se^a ^P' ^P ^^^ ^ thousand steps. At last I 
/^r /^^ came to a door, which burst open before 
Graf/ me. Perhaps I dreamed, and yet I believe 
I saw the Holy Grail, though it was veiled 
and guarded by great angels. I thought 
I saw all this, and then I swooned away. 
When I came to myself, I was alone in 
the room. It was many days before I 
made my way back to Camelot." 

For a long time there was silence in 
the hall, and then Sir Gawain said : 

'^Sir King, I can fight, and I always 
shall fight for you. But I do not believe 
in this vision. All the knights were mad, 
like Sir Lancelot. They did not really 
have the vision ; it was but fancy.*' 

Then the king spoke gravely to Sir 

''Sir Gawain, you are indeed not fit 
for such a vision, but you should not 
doubt that others have seen it. I was 
right, my knights, when I said that most 
of you would follow a wandering fire. 
How many of those who left me have 
not returned, and never will ! '' 

The knights looked at the empty 
chairs. The king went on : 

aim l^(g imiQfyt^ ^ 259 

''Sir Galahad was the only one who P^ , 

11' 1 . . XX Search 

completely saw the vision. He was for the 
indeed blessed, and fit for such a quest, a^raii 
You who were unfit should have stayed 
with me to help govern this land/' 

The knights were silent and sad ; then 
the king said : 

'* My dear knights whom I love, 
always remember this : whether you seek 
for a vision, or do humble service as Sir 
Perceval will for his fellow-monks, or 
fight to right wrongs as Sir Lancelot 
does, whatever you do your aim must be 
to make yourself useful to the world by - 
the work for which you are best fitted." 

The king rose from the Round Table 
and left the company, Sir Lancelot fol- 
lowing him. Then the other knights 
departed, one by one, and the great hall 
was left empty, with its shields glimmer- 
ing in the moonlight. 

^ Mm 3lttl^ttg 


KING ARTHUR^S Round Table had 
lasted many years, and the knights 
had done much to help the people of the 
country; yet there were traitors to the 
king among his own subjects. One of 
these traitors made war in a distant part 
of the kingdom, and' Arthur went with 
most of his knights to punish him. His 
nephew. Sir Modred, the brother of Sir 
Gawain and Sir Gareth, ruled in his stead 
at Camelot. 

Now Sir Modred was a wicked knight. 
He hated the king and the queen, and 
Sir Lancelot. Since King Arthur was 
absent a long time. Sir Modred had the 
opportunity of doing much harm. He let 
evil go unpunished ; he allowed bad cus- 
toms to come into the country ; and at 


last he raised a rebellion against the good ^^^^^ . 

king. Arthur 

When Arthur returned to Camelot to 
quell this rebellion, he had lost many of 
his faithful knights. Sir Hector was 
dead, and Sir Ulfius and Sir Brastias ; Sir 
Kay was dead, and Sir Bors, and Sir 
Gawain. Sir Lancelot was far away. 
Sir Bedivere alone remained of those 
who had been with Arthur since he had 
first ruled in Wales and Britain. 

The king and Sir Bedivere, with the 
help of such knights as still were faithful, 
tried to put down those rebels. They 
drove the traitors back until they came 
at length to Lyonnesse by the sea. Here 
the last great battle took place. 

The night before the battle, Sir 
Bedivere heard the king praying. Then 
Arthur slept, and when he awakened he 
called to his friend : 

''Sir Bedivere," he said, ''I have had 
a dream. I thought that Sir Gawain 
came to me and told me that to-morrow I 
should die." 

''My lord, it is but a dream," answered 
Sir Bedivere. ' ' You are great ; you have 

262 ^^^xg^^nt 

Death^} d^^^ much good which will last forever, 
Arthur and you will live many years yet to per- 
form many gracious acts. The day will 
soon dawn, and you will win the battle/' 

Arthur shook his head. 

''This is not like my other battles. I 
have no heart for it. It is hard to slay 
my own people, even if they are traitors." 

Day came, but no sun. A cold white 
mist lay over land and sea. It chilled 
the knights to the bone. And when the 
battle began, the mist was so thick that 
no one could see with whom he was 
fighting. Friends slew each other, not 
knowing whom they killed. Some could 
not fight at all, for it seemed to them that 
those moving on the battle-field were 
ghosts of warriors long since slain. There 
was many a noble deed and many a base 
one done in that mist. 

The fighting went on with clashing of 
lances and shields throughout the after- 
noon, and then th^ sounds grew fainter, 
till there was silence. At last, towards 
sunset, a wind from the west blew the 
mist away. Then Arthur, with Sir Bedi- 
vere by his side, looked over the field of 

aim l^(g &n(g]^tg ^ 263 

battle. He saw but one man standing; ^f^^^^f 
all the rest were dead on the seashore. Arthur 
And the tide had risen, and was swaying 
the helpless hands, and tumbling up and 
down the hollow helmets and the broken 
spears that once had fought with Rome. 
The king's face was white, and his voice 
was low as he said to Sir Bedivere : 

''There lie my slain, who have died 
for me. I am king only of the dead." 

' * Nay, lord, '' said Sir Bedivere. ' ' You 
are king everywhere still. Now strike a 
kingly stroke against the one traitor who 
still stands." 

Sir Bedivere pointed at the one other 
living man, and the king saw that it was 
Sir Modred. Arthur threw down his 
scabbard and lifted his good Excalibur. 
Then he sprang upon the traitor. Sir 
Modred struck the king on the helmet, 
which had been worn thin in many battles. 
The stroke cut through the steel, and 
wounded Arthur mortally, but he used 
his ebbing strength for one last blow with 
Excalibur, and killed Sir Modred. 

The king sank to the ground, but Sir 
Bedivere lifted him, and bore him to a 

264 ^ Mm ^VtJjUV 

Death^o} ^^i^^d chapel near the seashore. When 
Arthur he had laid him down by the broken 
cross in the chancel, Arthur said : 

''You know well that my Excalibur 
was given to me by the Lady of the Lake. 
I have used it like a king. And now the 
time has come to obey the writing on the 
blade. So take my sword Excalibur, and 
throw it far out into the lake." 

Sir Bedivere took the sword and went 
out from the ruined chapel. He walked 
amid the graves of ancient knights over 
which the sea wind was singing. He 
passed the barren cliffs and chasms, and 
reached the lake at last. 

He lifted Excalibur, and as he did so 
the moon came from behind the clouds. 
The light fell on the hilt of the sword, 
and all the jewels shone. Sir Bedivere 
looked until his eyes were dazzled; he 
could not throw the beautiful weapon 
away. So he hid it in the weeds upon 
the shore of the lake, and returned to 
the king. 

''What did you see or hear?" asked 

Sir .Bedivere replied : 

aim l^(g imiQfyt^ ^ 265 

''I heard the ripple washing in the ^^^^^ 
reeds, and the wild water lapping on the Ar/Aur 

King Arthur, faint and pale, said : 

"You have betrayed me. You have 
acted a lie. Had you thrown the sword, 
something would have happened, some 
sign would have been given. Go back 
now, and throw it into the lake." 

Sir Bedivere went back and again 
picked up Excalibur. As he looked at it 
he said aloud : 

''Surely, it is not right to throw away 
such a precious thing. It would please 
the eyes of people forever. I know it is 
wrong to disobey the king. Yet he is 
sick ; perhaps he does not know what he 
is doing. If I keep Excalibur and store 
it in a great treasure-house, people will 
look at it throughout all the coming 
years, and feel great reverence for the 
king who fought with it." 

So again Sir Bedivere hid the sword 
and returned to the king, who asked : • 

*' What have you seen or heard ?" 

And Sir Bedivere replied : 

"I heard the water lapping on the 

266 ^ "Ssiim 3inwv 

Deaih% ^^^S' ^^d the long ripple washing in the 
Arthur reeds/* 

Then the king was very angry. 

*'Ah, unkind!'* he cried. ''You, too, 
are a traitor. Because I am dying, I 
have no authority. You refuse to obey 
me, you who are the last of my knights ! 
Yet it is possible for a man to fail in his 
duty twice, and succeed the third time. 
Go now, and throw Excalibur.'' 

Sir Bedivere ran quickly and seized 
the sword, shutting his eyes that he might 
not see its beauty. He whirled it round 
his head and threw it far out over the 
lake. It flashed in the moonlight and 
fell. But before it reached the surface 
of the water, an arm, clothed in pure 
white, rose and caught it, brandished it 
three times, and then drew it under the 

When Sir Bedivere went back to 
Arthur, the king knew that he had been 

''I am dying,** he said. ''Lift me on 
your back and carry me to the lake.** 

Then Sir Bedivere carried the helpless 
king, walking quickly through the place 

ann W» ixnigfyt^ ^ 267 

of tombs, and over the crags, and past ^^/^^^^r 
the chasms, till he came to the smooth ArtAur 
shining lake. There beside the bank 
was a barge, all black. The deck was 
covered with stately figures of people 
clad in mourning. Among them were 
three fair queens with crowns of gold — 
the three queens who were to help Arthur 
at his need. 

They had come to take him away. Sir 
Bedivere did not know where. When 
they saw the wounded king, they gave 
a cry of grief that seemed to rise to the 
stars. Then they lifted him into the 
barge. The tallest put his head on her 
knees, and took off his broken helmet. 
She called him by name, weeping bitterly. 

Poor Sir Bedivere cried : 

''Oh, my lord Arthur, you are leaving 
me. Where shall I go ? The great Round 
Table is broken up forever. What shall 
I do?" 

Then Arthur answered : 

''Old customs pass and new ones 
come. God makes his world better in 
many ways. The Round Table did its 
work and now has disappeared ; but some- 

268 ^ Mm ^VtlaUV 

Death^of ^^^^^2 ^^^ ^^ sutcly comc to advance the 
Arthur cause of truth and justice. Pray for me 
and for yourself. More things are done 
by prayer than this world dreams of. 
And now, farewell ! You shall never 
see me again, my Bedivere. My work 
is done ; yours, too. is nearly over. 
Farewell ! " 

Then the barge moved slowly away, 
while those on board lamented. Sir Bedi- 
vere watched it till it disappeared amid 
the shadows over the lake. Then he rose 
slowly and wandered back to Lyonnesse. 

After a time he went to Camelot. 
There was a new king there, who was 
good, and new customs, also good. But 
Sir Bedivere was too old to change his 
way of life. He spent the rest of his days 
in Camelot, but he lived only in the 
past, dreaming of the time when King 
Arthur and his knights of the Round 
Table ruled in the land. 

anP W^ Ifeirtgi^tg gc^ 

FRONOiMciNe index: 

{The following index and key is used to indicate the pronunciation of 

the more difficult words ^ and is based upon the latest edition 

of Webster^ s International Dictionary.) 



As"* to lat 

Bas: de vaW g^us 


Gaheris (gft' her Ys) 
€^reth (gftr' eth) 
€rawain (g&' wftn) 
Creraint (g« rant) 

Bft'lin ffrail(gral) 

Bedivere(b6d' I ver) GuineYere 
Ber li cent (gwln' ^ ver) 

Ben^ wick In' i ol 

Bleys (bl&z) W aine (Sn) 

Bdrs joust' ingr (j^st) 

Bras' ti as Kay (kS) 

BrI' an Lancelot (l&n' s^ Idt) 

Brittany (brff § nt) Lavaine (van) 
Brune Ijc od' o g^an 

Cam er i ard Lf ' o nel 

Camelot (k&m'« Idt) Lynette (It n^t) 

Carry (kfir' ry) 
Ham' as 




falcon (faw' kn) 


(ir 6n ngs') 
Lyonors (U'd nOrz') 
Mial' grace 
Merlin (mer' Hn) 
moat (mot) 
Modred (m5d' rSd) 

Morgran le Fay 

(mdr' gan \b HL) 
nave (nav) 
North gral' is 
Ontz' lake 
palfrey (pal' fry) 

(per 16 ndr) 
Perceval (p€r' sd val) 

(pfim' grftn' ftt) 
porpliyry (p6r' fl rj) 
quintain (kwln' t&n) 
Bi ence (-ens') 
Thames (th&mz) 
Torre (tor) 

(tOOr' D& ment) 
Tur' quaine (qufin) 
Vivien (vIv'Y«n) 
Yg^eme (I gfim') 


as in ale 
as in &dd 
as in &sk 
as in ftrm 
as in all 
as in eve 
as in 6 vent' 

as in Snd 
as in bSr 
as in ice 
as in it 
as in old 
as in 6 bey* 
as in 5dd 


Silent letters are if 

as in 16rd 
as in food 
as in ff^d 
as in up 
as in rade 
asin flv 
as input 

: fe(ng attl^ttr 

To form an accurate setting for the story of King 
Arthur is difficult because of the composite 
character of the story and the great uncertain- 
ties as to its nature, date, and place. A large part of 
the story in the form in which it came to Malory 
(whose version is for us the most acceptable) took its 
shape and color probably from the work of Chretien 
de Troyes, who wrote in the second half of the twelfth 
century, and Robert de Barron, who wrote about the 
end of the thirteenth century. It seems safe, there- 
fore, to treat the story as a reflection of the life, not 
of the Briton of the sixth century, but of the much 
more refined society which existed in England and 
France in the age of chivalry. 

In constructing the setting of the Arthur stories, 
then, it is advisable to put before the children scenery 
no more definite than that depicted by painters and 
poets. On the other hand, they should have as defi- 
nite an idea as possible of the customs and manners 
of the chivalric age, and of the architecture, armor, 
costumes, and furnishings which were in use at this 
time. One of the best books on this subject is Chiv- 
alry, by Leon Gautier, translated from the French 
by Henry Frith, and published by Routledge. The 
book is a scholarly and concrete history of chivalry, 
and is copiously illustrated. Many of the pictured 


aim i^ ttniflfttg ^ 271 

castles, armor, and fumiture the ctuldren can repro- 
duce with the help of cardboard, plaster, chalk, and 
a sand-table. Certain of the costumes, trappings, and 
banners can be made in cheap fabrics. Such repro- 
duction, however imperfect, will help the children to 
realize the age. Other books less valuable are Batty's 
Essay on tiu Spirit and Influence of Chivalry^ Bul- 
finch's Age of Lhtvalry^ Chapters L-III.; Lanier's The 
Boys King Arthur^ books L-IV. For sources of the 
story, the teacher should consult Malory's Morte 
{T Arthur^ especially the edition by Oskar Sommer. 
Tennyson's Idyls of tite King is of course very valu- 

If possible, some of the pictures illustrating the 
Arthur cycle should be secured. Mr. Edwin Abbey's 
paintings of the "Quest of the Holy Grail" are repro- 
duced in the rather expensive Copley prints. How- 
ever, on receipt of postage, the Curtis & Cameron 
Co., Pierce Building, Boston, will send a little cata- 
logue of the Copley prints of the "Quest of the 
Holy Grail," which contains some smaU pictures. 
Other reproductions which can be ordered at any 
good art store are : "The Innsbruck Arthur," a copy 
of the figure of Arthur in armor, from the Innsbruck 
museum ; Watts* "Sir Galahad", Rosenthal's "Burial 
of Elaine "; Bume-Jcnes* " Dream of Lancelot at the 
Door of the Chapel of Saint Grael," "The Quest of 
the Grail," and "The Lady of Shallott"; Rossetti's 
"Arthur's Tomb "and "Lancelot Escaping"; Watts' 
"Merlin and Nimue" (Vivien). 

The King Arthur stories as Malory has given them 
to us, embody a deep and poetic message. Malory 
presented them in order that they should be an 
example to the people of his time. They can be of 
equal moral value to the children of this day, for they 
teach the best virtues of the chivalric age • gentle- 
ness to the weak, loyalty to friends, mercy to foes. 
The tales should help to inculcate a love of truth and 
courage, should show the value of discipline, unself- 

272 cs 

fe(ns artl^ttt; 

ishness, and courtesy, and should also develop an 
appreciation of grace and beauty. Moreover, as these 
stories have become our national hero cycle, they are 
less alien than the myths of Greece and Rome, and 
a study of them should be valuable in developing a 
wholesome pride of race. In order that the children 
understand the " moral " of each story, its central idea 
and the particular phase of chivalric life which it 
represents, they must actually live the story. The 
teacher can achieve this result by asking questions to 
see that the children comprehend the story, not only 
what is stated but also what is suggested, by giving 
construction work, as has already been advised, and 
above all, by letting them dramatize the action. 

For example, in preparing to teach "How Arthur 
Became King," the teacher might read this material 
in Malory. Then Gautier's book might be consulted, 
and the following pictures noted : in Chapter XII., 
reproductions of castles and gates which the children 
could easily construct ; in Chapters VII., VIII., and 
XVIII., swords, shields, hauberks, knights on horse- 
back in various positions ; in Chapter V., games ; in 
Chapters X. and XI., costumes of ladies, tapestries, 
furnishings; in Chapter XIII., the picture of the 
arrival of guests ; in Chapter XL, feasting. A reading 
of our story called "Arthur's Court and the Order 
of the Round table" will be of value. Then, after 
illustrating the narrative with pictures, and asking 
questions as suggested, the teacher should have the 
children dramatize such scenes as those on pages 
12-14, 21-24, and 26-28. She can also help them 
create for themselves the pictures on pages 12, 14, 
17, 19, 20, 27, 28, which they should be asked to draw. 
After the story is treated in this way, the children 
will better feel the lesson it teaches : the worth of 
Arthur's modesty, justice, and courtesy, the value of 
the long, severe, self-forgetting training a squire 
underwent before he became a knight, and the power 
of religion over the men of the age.